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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 98-558
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 $1,989,108 in grants to fight drug abuse and other crimes in public housing in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island's grants will be distributed to housing authorities in the following cities:

  • Newport…….......$327,300
  • Pawtucket………$326,098
  • Providence……...$680,160
  • Woonsocket…….$655,550

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

"The grant money will enable residents to have access to special social services not otherwise available to them. The specific substance abuse prevention education, life and job skills development, computer resources centers, and positive peer group development are just a few examples of what I know drug elimination grants will offer public housing residents in Providence and other Rhode Island cities," said U. S. Congressman Robert Weygand (D-RI).

Providence Mayor Vincent A. Cianci said: "Our anti-crime, anti-substance abuse initiatives in Providence public housing focus on preventive measures, proactive security measures, and a program called STEPS that incorporates community involvement, recreation, personal development, education, economic opportunity and self sufficiency. We are immensely pleased to have HUD's support of our efforts."

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. 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.

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.



  • $327,300 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Newport Housing Authority for a program that combines law enforcement, prevention, intervention and treatment activities. The Police Department will provide supplemental foot patrols, drug investigations, and community-oriented policing services. A state licensed drug treatment agency will provide street outreach and outpatient counseling.


  • $326,098 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Pawtucket Housing Authority to support a comprehensive program of increased security using resident patrols in addition to a drug prevention and outreach program targeting youth and adults with educational activities.


  • $680,160 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Providence Housing Authority for its successful Strategies to Encourage Personal Success program - a six-tiered program that provides residents the opportunity to achieve self-sufficiency. Participants are encouraged to increase their community involvement, enhance personal development, and improve academic performance.


  • $329,300 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Woonsocket Housing Authority for a comprehensive security and prevention-based approach to fighting crime and drug-related activity in the development. Residents are offered educational, vocational, recreational, and cultural activities.

  • $326,250 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Woonsocket Housing Authority for a variety of educational, vocational, and recreational activities. An enforcement component joins residents, security personnel and local police in various anti-drug activities.

    Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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