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Homes and Community Renewal

Anti-Drug Program

DHCR recognizes that the presence of drug abuse, violence and crime in many communities throughout the State presents a serious threat to the housing under its supervision and to the safety of its residents. The agency supervises 189 moderate-income Mitchell-Lama housing developments (containing nearly 80,390 apartments) and 42 public housing projects (with more than 14,479 apartments).

One of the first anti-drug initiatives DHCR undertook was to amend the State's housing regulations. Rules governing Mitchell-Lama housing (9 NYCRR, Sec. 1727-5.3) were amended in 1989 to expedite the eviction of tenants involved with illegal drugs. This change eliminated the requirement for DHCR to hold an administrative hearing before a housing company could initiate an eviction proceeding in court, if it was based on drug-related grounds. Also, leases for these apartments were rewritten to clearly prohibit the possession or sale of illegal drugs and possession of illegal weapons.

On May 23, 1989, New York became the first state to receive a waiver of the grievance procedure in Federally-subsidized public housing from HUD. This enabled drug-related evictions to be initiated directly in court by the housing authority, without a prior hearing. Accordingly, DHCR amended the regulations governing evictions in State-supervised public housing to eliminate the board of review hearing prior to proceeding in court for evictions in cases involving illegal drugs or weapons (NYCRR, Sec. 1627-7.3). These State regulations were written to clearly set standards of conduct for tenants; illegal drugs or weapons became grounds for either denial for admission into, or eviction from, public housing.

In further support of public housing, the State's Public Housing Drug Elimination Pilot Program was established in July 1990, authorizing DHCR to make grants to public housing projects to increase safety and reduce drug abuse among its residents. This program encourages tenants to take a more active role in both safeguarding their own projects and in developing drug prevention programs in their communities.

Beginning in FY 1991, the Legislature appropriated $1 million for the Public Housing Drug Elimination Program and in May 1992 the first grants were awarded to public housing authorities, for a broad range of anti-drug and crime measures including surveillance cameras, tenant patrols, more outdoor lighting, and other forms of increased security, and drug education and crime prevention programs for youth. As of December, 2008, $9,850,000 from Legislature appropriations and Public Modernization Program (PHM) set asides, have continued to fund grants under the Public Housing Drug Elimination Program, as show in the following table.

Public Housing Drug Elimination Program Funding
Fiscal Year NYS Legislature
Set Aside
1991$1,000,000    $1,000,000   
1993$500,000 $500,000
1994$600,000 $600,000
1995$600,000 $600,000
1997$900,000 $900,000
2001 $400,000$400,000
2002 $400,000$400,000
2003 $400,000$400,000
2004 $400,000$400,000
2005 $400,000$400,000
2006 $400,000$400,000
2007 $400,000$400,000
2008 $800,000$800,000

For further information, contact DHCR's Housing Management Bureau.

Last updated on 01/16/09