Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater: A Call to Reinstate the Public Housing Drug Elimination Program
Journal of Affordable Housing, Vol. 18, No. 4, pp. 497-518, Summer 2009
23 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2010
Date Written: 2009
In fiscal year 2002, the federal government, upon recommendation by the Office of Management and Budget, eliminated funding to the Public Housing Drug Elimination Program (PHDEP), a grant program designed to assist public housing authorities in fighting drugs and crime. In explaining its decision, the government cited (1) the program’s ineffectiveness, (2) its duplication of activities, and (3) the availability of other enforcement tools (e.g., evictions) to control crime and drugs in public housing. On the surface, the budgetary concerns appear to be sound. However, today, seven years later, crime and drug violence are still causing problems in public housing communities, and both scourges remain out of control. This article examines the policy rationale given for eliminating the PHDEP, critiques the government’s reasoning, and calls for reinstatement of the PHDEP.
Keywords: Public Housing Drug Elimination Program, PHDEP, Public Housing, Drug Use Prevention
JEL Classification: H51, H53, I38, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation