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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

Texas Tech Law School Research Paper No. 2010-04

23 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2010  

Wendy Tolson Ross

Texas Tech University School of Law

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

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

Ross, Wendy Tolson, Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater: A Call to Reinstate the Public Housing Drug Elimination Program (2009). Journal of Affordable Housing, Vol. 18, No. 4, pp. 497-518, Summer 2009; Texas Tech Law School Research Paper No. 2010-04. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1556402

Wendy Tolson Ross (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University School of Law ( email )

1802 Hartford
Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

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