Housing and Urban Development Secretary Patricia Roberts Harris announced yesterday a $180 million program designed to attempt to revive public housing projects and provide better social services to people in them.
Harris, addressing the 46th annual convention of the U.S. Conference of Mayors here, said the money will go to the nation's "most troubled housing projects."
"Living conditions will be significantly improved in a relatively short period of time, management will be upgraded and the ties between mayors and housing authorities will be strengthened" under the program, she said.
A HUD source said later that projects in at least 20 cities will receive the funds. "We hope to help people in 100,000 units," he said.
The money, already appropriated, will come mostly from HUD, and the program will involve the departments of Labor, Justice, and Health, Education and Welfare.
"We want to combine federal resources and bring together local government, housing authorities and tenants," the source said.
Besides physically improving the projects, the program will seek to curb crime, create jobs and provide better municipal services such as street lighting and police protection to the tenants, he said.
Harris said the program is "one of the first major administrative actions promised by the president in his urban policy message."