Home | En Español | Contact Us | A to Z 

HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 98-518
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-06854:00 PM Thursday
Or contact your local HUD officeOctober 22, 1998


GREAT FALLS, MT - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today awarded $1.5 million in grants to fight drug abuse and other crimes in public housing in Montana.

Montana's grants will be distributed to housing authorities and Indian Tribes in this way:

  • Great Falls .................................... $392,000
  • Blackfeet Tribe.................................$357,000
  • Helena……………....………………... $281,600
  • Salish & Kootenai Tribe……….....… $236,100
  • Crow Tribe………………………........$173,400
  • Billings…………………………….......$ 82,200

"These grants are good news for some of the poorest families in Montana 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 said that President Clinton's recent signature on 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 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. HUD's Montana Senior Community Builder Dick Brinck announced the Montana grants on behalf of Cuomo today at a news conference in Great Falls with city, housing and Tribal officials, and representatives of Montana's Congressional delegation.

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, 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 vouchers 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.


  • Great Falls: $392,000 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Great Falls Housing Authority for programs to provide additional law enforcement services and the hiring of a Program Coordinator to work in association with available resources in developing prevention programs and strategies.

  • Blackfeet Tribe: $357,000 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Blackfeet Tribal Housing Authority for programs to promote a positive healthy lifestyle for residents through cultural and recreational activities.

  • Helena: $281,600 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Helena Housing Authority for programs to sustain a resident-driven drug elimination program.

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

FOIA Privacy Web Policies and Important Links [logo: Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity]
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th Street S.W.
Washington, DC 20410
Telephone: (202) 708-1112 TTY: (202) 708-1455