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HUD No. 98-510
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-06852 P.M. PDT Wednesday
Or contact your local HUD officeOctober 21, 1998

CUOMO AWARDS ALMOST $3 MILLION IN GRANTS TO FIGHT DRUGS AND CRIME IN PUBLIC AND ASSISTED HOUSING IN NEVADA

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today awarded $2,947,172 in grants to fight drug abuse and other crimes in public housing and HUD-assisted housing in Nevada.

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

  • Clark County........................................... $476,402
  • Las Vegas..........................................................$1,416,270
  • North Las Vegas.......................................$829,500
  • Reno.....................................................................$225,000

"These grants are good news for some of the poorest families in Nevada 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 telephone news conference from Washington with U.S. Senator Harry Reid, Las Vegas Mayor Jan Jones, Clark County Commissioner Yvonne Atkinson Gates.

Senator Reid said: "Drug dealers and drug abusers have eaten away hope in our local communities. These grants will help restore a sense of pride to low-income families who are doing their best to keep their children out of trouble. I have always supported and will continue to support programs like the Drug Elimination grant program because I believe that they truly can make a difference."

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.

HUD ANTI-DRUG ASSISTANCE FOR COMMUNITIES IN NEVADA

CLARK COUNTY

  • $275,402 to continue the County of Clark Housing Authority's community-supported programs including the Classroom on Wheels, the Clark County Parks and Recreation "New Directions" and Henderson Boys and Girls Club programs. The Housing Authority will bring services of the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and the Computer on Wheels program to its adult population. Resident Services will focus on welfare-to-work and self-sufficiency.

  • $201,000 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the County of Clark Housing Authority to lessen crime in target developments. The agency will coordinate community policing programs at four developments; purchase vehicles to transport participants to substance abuse prevention programs, and make physical improvements to discourage crime. Resident Services staff will also provide programs that focus on welfare-to-work and self sufficiency, as well as drug prevention programs for youth.

LAS VEGAS

  • $722,020 in Drug Elimination Grants to the Las Vegas Housing Authority for the continuation of a security-based strategy to eradicate drugs and drug-related crime. Security activities include contracted security personnel and additional security services from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police. Prevention services include pre-school education, after-school activities, youth sports, high-risk youth intervention, job preparation and career exploration.

  • $694,250 for the Las Vegas Housing Authority in Drug Elimination Grants for a comprehensive, prevention-based strategy to eliminate drugs and drug-related crime in Las Vegas' family developments. Services will include after-school activities and youth sports, high-risk youth intervention, and job preparation. Additionally, the grant will be used to fund site-based and roving security personnel and physical, security-related improvements at developments.

NORTH LAS VEGAS

  • Two grants, for a total of $250,000, for Centennial Park Arms I and II, for the construction of computer learning centers with meeting facilities to enable residents to improve their skills, to help keep young people off of the streets, off drugs and away from the influence of local gangs. The recipient of the grants, William H. Harrison, is the owner of both properties, each 78-unit, all Section 8 developments. These grants follow earlier grants which allowed security improvements, including the addition of fencing and security gates. These improvements fostered a greater sense of security among residents, greater resident involvement, and the removal of problem tenants suspected of involvement in drug and gang-related activity.

  • $250,000 to reduce drugs and drug-related activities in and around the Buena Vista Springs Apartments community in North Las Vegas. With a focus on law enforcement and drug prevention, funds will go toward the installation of security fencing and additional police patrols, among other activities.

  • $125,000 for the construction of a new fence and security gates around the Buena Vista Springs Apartments, located in a community that has been subjected to drive-by shootings and drug activity. The 271-unit development is owned by Creative Choice West, Ltd., which is the recipient of these funds.

  • $125,000 for use at the Rose Garden Townhouses to construct a new fence and security gates to restrict pedestrian traffic in and out of the development, which is located in an area of heavy drug and gang activity. The grant goes to Eugene Burger Management Corporation, owner of the 115-unit Section 8 development.

  • $79,500 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the North Las Vegas Housing Authority to continue crime control and security efforts at public housing developments and in the surrounding community. The funds will assist with three programs: tenant-based crime prevention; improvements to security arrangements along development borders, and continued funding of the agency's security personnel.

RENO

  • $225,000 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the City of Reno Housing Authority for a comprehensive "Weed and Seed" approach to eliminating drug use and gang activity. This will be accomplished through a collaborative effort of the Reno Police Department, the Center for Employment Training, Nevada State Welfare Department, Job Opportunities in Nevada (JOIN), AmeriCorps/VISTA, the University of Nevada-Reno and Cooperative Extension, Boy and Girl Scouts, Nevada Hispanic Services and other organizations.

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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