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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 98-505
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Tuesday
Or contact your local HUD officeOctober 20, 1998


Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today awarded $1,462,330 in grants to fight drug abuse and other crimes in public and assisted housing in Denver

The Denver Housing Authority will receive $1,062,880 in grants, and the remainder will go to owners of privately owned HUD-subsidized housing for low-income families.

Cuomo made the announcement in a satellite TV news conference with Congresswoman Diana DeGette, who represents Denver, and Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, who joined the conference by telephone.

"These grants are good news for some of the poorest families in Denver 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 DeGette said: "One of the greatest improvements we can make to public housing in Denver, and across the nation, it to make it safer by eliminating crime and drugs. By winning these grants, Denver's Housing Authority and the assisted housing communities have shown that they have developed effective plans to address their unique problems."

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.


  • $1,062,880 for the Denver Housing Authority to help integrate community policing strategies with prevention programs that move residents from welfare-to-work. These programs include employment and training programs, resident involvement, one-stop learning centers and resident computer training. On-site programs at Project Storefront locations offer residents positive alternatives to negative behaviors such as drugs, gangs and violence.

  • $209,108 to the Park Hill Gardens West Association to help reduce drug-related crime and other criminal activity in the Park Hill Gardens West Apartment complex and surrounding neighborhoods. The grant will establish ongoing relationships with local law enforcement agencies and increase the quality of life for residents and neighbors.

  • $97,966 for an additional Drug Elimination Grant to the Park Hill Gardens West Apartments to fund physical improvements to deter crime, implement new law enforcement activities, establish a Boys and Girls Club satellite office and coordinate welfare-to-work training programs at the new Smiley Neighborhood Resource Center's IBM Computer Lab.

  • $92,376 to California Park East Associates of Denver for physical improvements, including fencing, lighting and security cameras. The grant will also fund law enforcement activities, community-building efforts and an on-site drug treatment program. Many activities at California Park East will also benefit another adjacent Section 8 property.

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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