CUOMO AWARDS $1,415,200 IN GRANTS TO FIGHT DRUGS AND CRIME
IN PUBLIC AND ASSISTED HOUSING IN NEW MEXICO
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today awarded $1,415,200 in grants to fight drug abuse and other crimes in public housing and HUD-assisted housing in New Mexico.
New Mexico's grants will be distributed to housing authorities and owners of HUD-subsidized housing for low-income families in the following areas:
- Las Cruces
- Las Vegas
- Santa Fe
- Truth Or Consequence
"These grants are good news for some of the poorest families in New Mexico 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 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 NEW MEXICO
- Alamogordo: $67,500 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Alamogordo Housing Authority for programs to reduce the drug and criminal activity throughout the AHA complexes. The strategy will include the establishment of a resident complaint center and foot patrols within the housing complexes by public safety officers; the development of a holistic drug prevention program geared to meet the needs of the AHA children, youth and adults; and continuing the operation of a Learning Resource Center that promotes economic, educational, social and health-related skill training and activities for AHA families.
- Albuquerque: $600,000 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the city of Albuquerque's Housing Services to reduce/eliminate drug related crime. The City will undertake physical improvements to increase security and will contract with the Albuquerque Police Department for additional security services at Public Housing sites. Both evaluation and treatment services will be provided and the City will contract with a community-based youth service organization to provide drug prevention services targeted to residents of public housing.
- Las Cruces: $102,600 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Las Cruces Housing Authority to continue and expand current drug prevention and security patrol efforts under its Community Activities Programs (CAP). The grant will allow for continued substance-free alternative educational and recreational activities. The city of Las Cruces will also receive another $125,000 in Drug Elimination Grants for Assisted Housing. The grant goes to the Las Cruces Housing Development Corporation which will use the funds for drug prevention and education programs, along with physical improvements and community support services.
- Las Vegas: $113,100 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Las Vegas Housing Authority to assist with a comprehensive security and preventive based approach to reducing drug-related crimes. Efforts will include collaboration from the housing authority, police department, and the community.
- Mescalero: $103,800 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Mescalero Apache Housing Authority to provide drug counseling, education, and alternative activities for young families and teenagers.
- Santa Fe: $138,300 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Santa Fe Civic Housing Authority for intervention and preventative programs aimed at reducing drug-related crimes. Residents will benefit from family violence intervention, youth activities, and training programs designed to educate youth about the alternatives to drug use. Another $66,300 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Santa Fe County Housing Services Division which wants to use the funds to continue three on-site youth programs. They include youth sports and drug education. Also proposed is a comprehensive resident parenting and leadership training program and a resident initiated community park project.
- Taos: $50,000 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Taos County Housing Authority to implement a three fold proposal to fight drugs and other crimes. The County Housing Authority plans to strengthen law enforcement visibility by permanently placing a police officer in the housing sites and/or by adding security personnel. It also proposes extensive education for housing residents by utilizing such programs as Neighborhood Watch, and D.A.R.E. and it would increase safety for family residents through a comprehensive fencing program which will employ youths.
- Truth Or Consequence: $48,600 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Housing Authority of Truth Or Consequence. In addition to using the funds for management of a summer youth employment program, Truth Or Consequence Housing Authority will use the funds to ensure safety and security, to map and track crime, to obtain law enforcement assistance for compliance with One Strike You're Out policies, and to deter youth crime and drug use.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009