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CUOMO AWARDS $643,760 IN GRANTS TO FIGHT DRUGS AND CRIME IN PUBLIC HOUSING IN INDIANAPOLIS
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today awarded $643,760 in grants to fight drug abuse and other crimes in public housing in Indianapolis.
Cuomo made the announcement in a satellite TV news conference with Congresswoman Julia Carson, who represents Indianapolis.
"These grants are good news for some of the poorest families in Indianapolis 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."
Congresswoman Carson said: "This grant will enable Indianapolis to fight drugs and violence in our public housing much more effectively. Not only will the residents of public housing live in a safer environment, but reducing the drug trade in public housing will benefit surrounding neighborhoods and the city as a whole. This kind of federal help in solving local problems by supplementing local resources is in the very best tradition of our American democracy."
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.
Indianapolis will use its grant funds to enhance public safety and to support drug prevention and intervention programs and adult employment and training initiatives in public housing. A youth development program is also planned.
Nationwide, HUD is awarding $305.2 million in Drug Elimination Grants this year - more than in any previous year.
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.
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:
Content Archived: January 20, 2009