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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 98-557
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Monday
Or contact your local HUD officeOctober 26, 1998


Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today awarded $7,322,652 in grants to fight drug abuse and other crimes in public housing and HUD-assisted housing in Maryland, including more than $4.8 million for Baltimore.

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

  • Annapolis………………………… $548,646
  • Anne Arundel County………..…....$306,300
  • Baltimore………………….….….. $4,820,206
  • Cumberland………………..……. $128,700
  • Frederick…………………..…….. $366,400
  • Hagerstown……………..……….. $354,000
  • Montgomery County…………..…..$391,300
  • Prince George's County.………..…$171,900
  • Rockville…………………………. $135,200
  • St. Michaels……………………… $100,000

HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Housing Investments Elinor Bacon, a Baltimore resident, made the announcement on Cuomo's behalf at a news conference attended by Maryland Senator Paul Sarbanes, Representative Elijah Cummings, Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke.

"These grants are good news for some of the poorest families in Maryland 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."

Senator Sarbanes said, "This funding from HUD represents a significant step in fighting drugs in public housing by targeting an array of resources - education and job training, day care and youth programs, drug treatment and education, and an increased police presence - both to the public housing development and the surrounding community. And as a result of the new drug elimination grant provisions in the Public Housing bill just signed into law, which allows for multi-year grants in the future, Baltimore and other cities in Maryland and around the country will be able to develop long-term strategies for attacking the problem of drugs and violent crime."

Senator Barbara Mikulski, ranking member of the Senate VA/HUD Appropriations Subcommittee said, "Eliminating drugs in public housing means safer streets and safer communities for everyone. These grants put federal backup behind the local cops, Neighborhood Watch patrols, Boys and Girls clubs, and partnerships with faith-based and non-profit organizations. It represents a hand up, not just a hand out, to people who are working to eliminate the blight of drugs in their community."

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 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.

Another 53 privately owned HUD-subsidized low-income housing developments will receive a total of $11.7 million from a similar program called the New Approach Anti-Drug Program.

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.

The New Approach Anti-Drug Program (formerly known as the Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program) provides funds for improving security at HUD-assisted developments and in surrounding neighborhoods by: hiring security guards, paying for extra police patrols, assisting in the investigation and prosecution of drug-related criminal activity, and implementing security-related physical improvements.

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.



  • $300,000 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis to continue their four component and ten activity program that provides a safe environment for residents; increases the self-sufficiency of low-income tenants; and provides opportunities for youth to have positive interaction with parents and other adults.

  • A $123,646 Drug Elimination Grant will go to Annapolis' Westside Rehab Corporation for Woodside Gardens Apartments. The plan calls for physical enhancements to improve security; establishment of a Neighborhood Watch Program, with training by local police; development of a Neighborhood Networks Computer Learning Center (with separate funding), and establishment of a Drug Intervention/Prevention Program.

  • A $125,000 Drug Elimination Grant to Landex Corporation for Bay Ridge Gardens. The plan includes an Afterschool Tutorial Program, a Boys and Girls Club, Neighborhood Watch Program, parent-oriented Drug Prevention Workshops, Employment Skills Training, and the continuation of the complex's Neighborhood Networks Computer Learning Center.


  • $306,300 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Anne Arundel County Housing Authority for expansion of the community safety unit, youth outreach summer day camp programs, 14 educational scholarships, and "Community Day" at Meade Village and Freetown Village.


  • $4,371,120 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Housing Authority Of Baltimore City to continue and expand resident programs, including the Community Support Officer, Voluntary Tenant Patrol, Communications Dispatchers, and Building Guards programs. "Operation Fresh Start" will target two developments with a goal to provide alternatives to drug activities among the youth.

  • A $125,000 Drug Elimination Grant to Circle Terrace Associates Limited Partnership for Circle Terrace Apartments, providing funding for a Security Plan, Early Childhood Youth Activities, an After-School Program, Summer Playground Scholarships, Summer Basketball Camp, Mentor Program, Family Education Classes, and hiring a Youth Coordinator.

  • A $114,561 Drug Elimination Grant will go to Westside Rehab Corporation for Poppleton Place to fund physical improvements, establish a Community Organization Network; a Crime Watch Council, in partnership with the local police; Youth Activities, and a Neighborhood Networks Computer Learning Center.

  • A $209,525 Drug Elimination Grant for Baltimore's Pedestal Gardens. The funding will be used to eliminate drug-related crime in and around the Pedestal Gardens, providing immediate and long term benefits to the site and the surrounding community. Operations related to law enforcement include increased police car patrols near high drug traffic vacant housing.


  • $128,700 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Housing Authority of Cumberland to enhance existing youth programs, with additional educational resources including Internet access. In addition, funds will go toward enhanced security coverage and surveillance equipment to improve tracking of incident reports and provide statistics to local agencies.


  • $366,400 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Housing Authority of the City of Frederick to continue security services in public housing communities. In addition, a Youth Program Coordinator will be hired to ensure that the young people have constructive activities which also teach leadership skills, conflict resolution and other character-building activities. The Housing Authority plans to contract with the Frederick Police Department to provide overtime patrols in the public housing communities and to continue Calling Card for Success, a peer leadership program for youth. The authority will also help fund the Frederick Police Department's "Gun Stoppers" program and implement a Listening Project through the Peace Resource Center.


  • $354,000 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Housing Authority of the City of Hagerstown to construct fencing to restrict pedestrian movement within the courts and to continue security officers working in all communities. The housing authority will contract with the Boys & Girls Club of Washington County for youth prevention and social development programs.


  • $391,300 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to Montgomery County's Housing Opportunity Commission for community policing services; a security and compliance coordinator; resident initiatives, including a tenant patrol; and a host of individual, family and community development programs geared toward reducing the risk factors for drug and crime involvement. Programs include child and family counseling, recreational activities for residents and support services that can help residents overcome obstacles to drug treatment.


  • $171,900 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Prince George's County Department of Housing And Community Development for physical improvements to enhance security, contract for security personnel services, and educational programs to reduce and eliminate drug use. The educational programs will include a "Reading is Power" campaign, as well as "Project Safe Harbor", a campaign to promote child and household safety.


  • $135,200 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Housing Authority of the City of Rockville to fund voluntary tenant patrols, youth recreational activities, a family strengthening program, educational and employment opportunities for teens and adults, and to cover costs of transportation for those in treatment.


  • $100,000 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the St. Michaels Housing Authority. Academic, social skills and adult computer classes are the focus of this effort to eliminate drugs and drug-related crime from St. Michaels public housing. The program consists of in-school tutoring, homework assistance, after-school 4 days a week, and social skills building for children. Adult computer classes are being offered to adult residents. Skill improvement training for Housing Authority staff will also be funded.

    Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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