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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 98-511
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-06854:15 P.M. Wednesday
Or contact your local HUD officeOctober 21, 1998


Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today awarded $771,340 in grants to fight drug abuse and other crimes in public housing in Paterson and Passaic, NJ. A $561,340 grant will go to Paterson and $210,000 will go to Passaic.

Cuomo made the announcement in a telephone conference call with Congressman Bill Pascrell who represents the two cities, along with Paterson Mayor Marty Barnes and Passaic Mayor Margie Semler.

Earlier in the day, New Jersey Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Torricelli announced grants to fight drugs and crime totaling $14.9 million for 39 New Jersey cities, including the funds to Paterson and Passaic.

The grants will be distributed to housing authorities in the two cities.

“These grants are good news for some of the poorest families in New Jersey 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.”

Congressman Pascrell said: “These Public Housing Drug Elimination grants will enable Paterson and Passaic to increase their drug reduction efforts and devise plans to combat the problems within their communities. The significant thing about these funds is that local communities get to decide how to use the funds. There are no cookie cutter solutions to these problems. In Secretary Cuomo’s two years at HUD, he has proven that he is fighting for our communities and working to improve our nation’s housing opportunities, building a better life for all Americans.”

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.

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.

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:

  • 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.



  • $561,340 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Paterson Housing Authority to support its ongoing security, prevention, intervention and training programs -- all designed to eliminate drugs and drug-related crime from the community. Plans include: youth programs, a job development program, a Teen Summit and 16 college scholarships.


  • $210,000 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Passaic Housing Authority for a comprehensive security program to reduce drug-related crime in the community. Funds will also continue a Community Policing Unit, resident patrols, and various economic development programs to help residents become self-sufficient.

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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