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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release November 7, 1997
                      IN PUBLIC AND ASSISTED HOUSING 

WASHINGTON -- Vice President Al Gore today announced $217.3 million in grants to housing authorities and assisted housing developments around the nation to continue the Clinton Administration's fight against drug dealing and other crimes.

"President Clinton's policies are working successfully around the country to keep gangs, drug dealers and other criminals out of public and assisted housing," the Vice President said. "These grants will help give every American family the opportunity to live in safety."

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Andrew Cuomo and White House Drug Policy Director Barry R. McCaffrey joined the Vice President as he made the announcement.

The 686 new HUD Drug Elimination Grants will go to: 503 public housing authorities ($194.5 million); 26 Indian housing authorities ($5.8 million); and 157 privately owned low-income housing developments that receive HUD assistance ($17 million).

"Drug dealers and other criminals are entitled to only one kind of government housing -- a prison cell," Secretary Cuomo said. "The sooner we can get them out of public and assisted housing, the better. As a result of the President's zero tolerance of crime in public housing, we're making dramatic progress in reclaiming crime-infested neighborhoods around the nation."

General McCaffrey said the new grants will play an important role in the nation's anti-drug strategy, and expressed strong support for the initiative.

As the Chair of the Crime Prevention Council, Vice President Gore has coordinated the efforts of federal, state and local agencies to create safe communities in public housing developments. In June, the Vice President, Secretary Cuomo and Attorney General Janet Reno announced a four-part enforcement and prevention strategy to fight crime and drugs in public housing. The Drug Elimination Grants are one element of this strategy.

The nation's crime rate has dropped by 10.3 percent since 1992 -- including a 16.3 percent drop in violent crime. No separate statistics exist for crime in public and assisted housing, which have historically suffered some of the highest crime rates. However, law enforcement officials in the nation's largest cities say rates for violent crime and drug-related crime in public housing have come down even more sharply in the past five years than in communities at large.




November 7, 1997

"One Strike and You're Out." President Clinton announced One Strike guidelines in March, 1996. One Strike adds provisions to public housing leases that make involvement in drugs or serious criminal activity a basis for barring people from moving into public housing and for eviction. Housing authorities across the nation have used One Strike to keep tens of thousands of lawbreakers out. The initiative is popular among the vast majority of law-abiding public housing residents, who have pleaded for years for help in reducing crime in their neighborhoods.

Operation Safe Home. Since this initiative was created in 1994 to attack crime in public and assisted housing, it has been responsible for executing more than 1,600 search warrants and making more than 13,400 arrests. Operation Safe Home has seized $25.5 million worth of illegal drugs, 1,860 weapons including 200 assault weapons, and $3.6 million in drug money. Operation Safe Home task forces have been set up around the country, made up of state and local law enforcement officers and the following federal agencies: HUD's Inspector General's Office; the FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; the Secret Service; U.S. Marshal's Service; and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Local district attorneys and U.S. attorneys prosecute cases for the task forces.

HUD's Drug Elimination Grants. HUD has awarded more than $1.3 billion in these grants since 1989.

In public housing, the Drug Elimination Grants are used for: drug prevention programs (38 percent of this year's funding); reimbursing law enforcement agencies for providing additional security (30 percent); hiring security guards and investigators (14 percent); drug intervention programs (6 percent); drug treatment programs (2 percent); tenant patrols (2 percent); physical improvements to enhance security (2 percent); and a variety of other initiatives (6 percent).

Housing authorities also can use the grants to provide job training and create jobs for residents in a number of areas, such as security guards and positions in drug abuse prevention and treatment.

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 are limited to $125,000.



                         AND ASSISTED HOUSING

HUD Drug Elimination Grant Funding by State

State Total Funding Amount State Total Funding Amount

Alaska  $240,652                      Missouri $4,176,812
Alabama 8,344,065                     Montana 603,597
Arkansas 1,009,922                    New Hampshire 811,392
Arizona 2,007,980                     New Jersey 6,443,453
California 8,612,180                  New Mexico 1,061,300
Colorado 1,321,980                    Nevada 429,377
Connecticut 4,448,792                 New York 41,927,400
Washington, DC 2,812,680              North Carolina 7,180,467
Delaware 795,540                      North Dakota 393,120
Florida 6,178,843                     Ohio 12,100,699
Georgia 7,817,827                     Oklahoma 3,986,935
Hawaii 1,368,380                      Oregon 1,795,860
Idaho 93,300                          Pennsylvania 6,421,624
Illinois 15,626,965                   Puerto Rico 125,000
Indiana 3,001,460                     Rhode Island 1,452,700
Iowa 125,000                          South Carolina 2,959,736
Kansas 159,900                        South Dakota 822,212
Kentucky 3,113,180                    Tennessee 7,262,893
Louisiana 4,338,100                   Texas 9,671,295
Maine 438,000                         Utah 187,800
Maryland 5,439,415                    Vermont 117,540
Massachusetts 8,290,538               Virginia 3,721,488
Michigan 3,783,953                    Virgin Islands 1,421,420
Minnesota 3,479,100                   Washington 3,334,292
Mississippi 2,672,653                 West Virginia 1,049,597

Wisconsin 1,925,379