|HUD No. 00-29|
|Further Information:||For Release|
|In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685||Thursday|
|Or contact your local HUD office||February 17, 2000|
CUOMO ANNOUNCES PROGRAM TO HELP PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VA STRENGTHEN NEIGHBORHOOD POLICE PRESENCE IN WOODBRIDGE
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced that HUD has sold a home to Prince William County in Virginia at half-price for use as a residential police substation, where two police officers will both live and work.
The HUD discount cut the price of the home in half - to $35,000 - resulting in a cost savings of the same amount to Prince William County taxpayers.
The sale of the HUD-owned home in Woodbridge under the Officer Next Door initiative marks the first time HUD has sold a property directly to a county government for use as a combination home and police station. Officers will work and live in the home on a rotating basis.
The more than 3,200 homes sold by HUD to police officers under the Officer Next Door initiative since 1997 are all used strictly as homes.
"This is another example of how HUD's Officer Next Door program is helping to make America's communities safer and more secure," Cuomo said. "Prince William County's use of this property will provide a round-the-clock police presence in this neighborhood."
Under the Officer Next Door initiative HUD sells homes it has acquired through foreclosure after previous homeowners defaulted on mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration, which is part of HUD.
The home the County has purchased from HUD at 13530 Bentley Circle in Woodbridge is near the scene of the fatal beating of a woman who confronted a group of teen-agers in a traffic dispute last summer. HUD offered the property for sale to the County under the Officer Next Door discount last year, and the County Board approved the purchase in December. The keys were presented in a ceremony at the home this morning.
"By strategically locating police officers to work and live in this community, we are optimistic that the quality of life here will be enhanced," said County Police Chief Charlie T. Deane. "While not a high crime area, this street has been the scene of a recent violent crime that created considerable concern. I am confident that having residential officers here will have a positive influence. This is community policing at its best."
County officials say a large portion of the purchase funds will be taken from police department criminal seizure money.
President Clinton unveiled The Officer Next Door initiative in 1997. This HUD program is designed to help thousands of police officers around the nation become homeowners by enabling them to buy HUD-acquired homes at a 50 percent discount. Law enforcement officers can qualify for the cost savings by buying HUD homes in neighborhoods classified by the Department as revitalization areas. Such areas are economically distressed but have the potential to recover.