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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 98-488
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-06853:00 p.m. Wednesday
Or contact your local HUD officeOctober 14, 1998


Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today awarded $3.5 million in grants to fight drug abuse and other crimes in public housing and HUD-assisted housing in Minnesota.

Minnesota's grants will be distributed to housing authorities and owners of HUD-subsidized housing for low-income families in the following way:

  • Duluth....................................................................... $374,400
  • Minneapolis...........................................................$1,601,860
  • Mille Lacs Indian Housing Authority.........................$100,000
  • Red Lake Reservation Housing Authority..................$238,500
  • St. Paul..................................................................$1,236,760

"These grants are good news for some of the poorest families in Minnesota and bad news for drug dealers who terrorize them," Cuomo said. "We will fight drug abuse with prevention and treatment programs and with a crackdown on drug dealers and other criminals. We are telling drug dealers in HUD housing to find another line of work or be sent to another type of subsidized housing - a prison cell."

Cuomo made the announcements in a TV satellite news conference from Washington with Congressmen Bruce Vento and Martin Olav Sabo.

Congressman Vento said: "This $1.1 million grant for St. Paul public housing and $125,000 for St. Philip's Gardens provides a continuity of resources for crime fighting that is essential to local housing authorities and residents. By investing in our communities through anti-drug and anti-crime grants, we are fostering the growth of healthy, violence-free neighborhoods and improving the quality of life for all St. Paul residents." Vento is the author of Community Partnership Against Crime, a program that expands crime prevention efforts near public housing developments.

Congressman Sabo said: "In recent years, the MPHA has made great strides to become a national top performer in providing quality housing for elderly, disabled, and low-income residents of Minneapolis. Ensuring a sense of security and community is part of its job, and HUD's drug elimination grant will help the MPHA continue this commitment to its residents."

Cuomo said the recent Congressional approval of the Department's $24.5 billion budget for the 1999 fiscal year, which he called "the best HUD budget in 10 years," will speed the transformation of public and assisted housing.

"HUD is transforming public housing from isolated ghettos of poverty, drugs, despair and crime into safe and economically integrated communities of opportunity," Cuomo said.

Nationwide, HUD is awarding $305.2 million in Drug Elimination Grants this year -more than in any previous year. The grants will be distributed in the next several weeks in this way: $280.6 million to 749 public housing authorities; $8 million to 39 Indian Tribes; and $16.6 million to 143 privately owned housing developments that receive HUD assistance.

Vice President Al Gore, Cuomo and Attorney General Janet Reno announced a four-part enforcement and prevention strategy to fight crime and drugs in public housing in June 1997. The grants announced today are one element of that strategy.

The Drug Elimination Grants are awarded on a competitive basis, based on the seriousness of the drug and crime problem facing a housing authority or assisted housing development, and the strength of local plans to address the problem. About 900 housing authorities, 60 Indian tribes and 500 privately owned housing developments applied for the grants being awarded this year.

HUD has awarded more than $1.6 billion in Drug Elimination Grants since 1989, including the grants being awarded this year.

In public housing, the Drug Elimination Grants are used for: drug prevention, intervention and treatment programs; reimbursing law enforcement agencies for providing additional security; hiring security guards and investigators; resident anti-crime patrols; and physical improvements to housing developments to enhance security - such as fencing, lighting and improved locks.

In assisted housing, the Drug Elimination Grants are used for: drug prevention and education programs; referrals to drug treatment and counseling; and physical improvements to developments to enhance security. Individual grants for assisted housing developments are limited to a maximum of $125,000.

HUD's budget for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1 increases funding for HUD's key programs and renewals of Section 8 rental assistance by a total of more than $2 billion in the budget over 1998 levels. Spending was increased on most HUD programs and wasn't cut in any programs.

Legislation passed in the same bill as HUD's budget will:

  • Transform public housing by reducing segregation by race and income, encouraging and rewarding work, bringing more working families into public housing, and increasing the availability of subsidized housing for very poor families. In addition, the bill improves living conditions in public housing, gives the poorest families neighbors who will be role models of working families, and reduces crime. The bill also allows HUD to continue to tear down the largest failed public housing projects and replace them with new townhouse-style developments.

  • Expand the supply of affordable housing by enabling 90,000 more families to get Section 8 rental assistance vouchers that will subsidize their rents in privately owned apartments - the first increase in vouchers in four years.

  • Increase homeownership by raising the limit on home mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration from the current range of $86,317 in low-cost housing areas to $170,362 in high-cost areas. The bill increases the loan limits to a range of $109,032 in low-cost areas to $197,621 in high-cost areas. The higher ceiling on FHA-insured home mortgages opens the door of homeownership to thousands of families needing FHA insurance to get mortgages, but locked out now because the current loan limits have not kept pace with rising home prices.



  • $374,400 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Duluth Housing Authority to expand a collaborative community-based program that focuses on innovative policing tactics, resident empowerment, and youth drug prevention planning.


  • $1,601,860 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Minneapolis Housing Authority for a program that combines law enforcement personnel, tenant patrols and programs for families and children to reduce drug use in public housing communities.


  • $100,000 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Mille Lacs Indian Housing Authority to provide educational and outdoor sports activities that help youth develop coping mechanisms that will reduce the use of drugs and help eliminate drug-related crime. Working with the Boys & Girls Club of the Mille Lacs Band, the grant also will fund cultural and spiritual activities that reduce drug use.


  • $238,500 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to provide sports, cultural, educational, and outdoor activities that will help reduce drug use and eliminate drug-related crime.


  • $1,111,760 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Public Housing Agency of St. Paul to continue working with the Authority's Community Policing Program, Boys and Girls Clubs programs, and the St. Paul Division of Parks and Recreation's McDonough Recreation Center programs to create drug prevention activities for public housing residents.

  • $125,000 will be used for drug prevention and intervention activities and enhanced security at St. Philip's Gardens, a St. Paul multifamily housing development where most of the residents receive Section 8 rental assistance subsidies. Additional security measures will include fencing around the perimeter, exterior security lighting, deadbolt locks on entry doors to all units, and a card reader system at each building's entrance.

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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