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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 98-583
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Thursday
Or contact your local HUD officeNovember 5, 1998


WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo has awarded $305.2 million in grants to fight drug abuse and other crimes in public housing and HUD-assisted housing. The grants will go to:

Alaska $883,700 Montana $1,522,300
Alabama $10,175,740 North Carolina $12,268,433
Arkansas $3,339,228 North Dakota $677,768
Arizona $2,290,442 Nebraska $1,584,540
California $15,988,123 New Hampshire $867,400
Colorado $1,845,130 New Jersey $14,858,900
Connecticut $5,826,420 New Mexico $1,415,200
District of Columbia $3,018,851 Nevada $2,947,172
Delaware $223,800 New York $44,371,570
Florida $15,333,677 Ohio $15,664,267
Georgia $14,089,992 Oklahoma $4,690,233
Hawaii $1,405,820 Oregon $1,413,600
Iowa $214,428 Pennsylvania $18,032,873
Idaho $81,600 Puerto Rico $500,000
Illinois $16,359,513 Rhode Island $1,989,108
Indiana $3,932,827 South Carolina $4,732,017
Kansas $1,224,200 South Dakota $981,480
Kentucky $5,547,420 Tennessee $8,669,836
Louisiana $5,808,348 Texas $13,574,937
Massachusetts $10,744,665 Utah $502,700
Maryland $7,322,652 Vermont $213,390
Maine $495,600 Virgin Islands $125,000
Michigan $5,884,962 Virginia $7,058,579
Minnesota $3,551,520 Washington $4,810,322
Missouri $4,021,760 Wisconsin $1,998,761
Mississippi $4,791,250 West Virginia $1,915,220
Wyoming $286,400    

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

Nationwide, HUD is awarding more funds for Drug Elimination Grants this year than in any previous year. The grants are being distributed 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, and signed by the President, 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.

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