Natchez Housing Authority ges grant

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 19, 1999

Crime has dropped dramatically in Adams&160;County thanks to annual grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), housing authority officials said.

&uot;They are very beneficial,&uot;&160;said Bridgett Pollard, grant coordinator for the Natchez Housing Authority. &uot;So far we have had a 50 percent decrease in crime in public housing.&uot;

HUD has awarded the Natchez Housing Authority (NHA) $65,102 as part of this year’s grant allocation. It is part of $261 million in HUD grants to fight crime in public housing across the country.

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&uot;These grants will protect some of the poorest and most vulnerable American families from being terrorized by drug dealers and gangs, and will save lives,&uot; said Secretary Andrew Cuomo of HUD. &uot;These grants will give young people new opportunities to avoid drug abuse, to grow up healthy and safe, and to build better futures.&uot;

HUD has awarded more than $1.9 billion in Drug Elimination Grants since 1989 including the grants awarded this year.

In Natchez, the grant will fund a police sub-station at Williams Apartments on Aldrich Street, drug and gang prevention programs and computer training for adults.

Maryland Heights, Ram Circle and Kenny Graves Subdivision will also benefit from the programs.

&uot;According to surveys 80 percent of the residents are feeling safer in the day and 65 percent fell safer at night,&uot; Pollard said.

&uot;Once upon a time (the apartments) were real hard to rent out. Now we can call somebody and they are ready to move in.&uot;

The year’s grant to the NHA is down from $148,000 in other years, Pollard said.

The reduction is the result of a new grant formual now used by HUD.

Despite the drop, this formula means the NHA will receive the same funding for the next five years.

&uot;That is guaranteed,&uot; Pollard said. &uot;Under this formula, we will receive at least $65,000.&uot;

There will be some cuts in services because of the drop.

For example, in 2001, NHA will have to reduce sub-station officers from two to one or to two part-time officers, Pollard said.