Bill S119-2009

Enacts the "public housing safety and security act of 2009"

Enacts the "public housing and safety security act"; grants the division of housing and community renewal the authority to issue grants to public housing authorities or agencies for use in improving security in public housing projects; provides eligible activities for such grants; requires periodic inspection reports and an annual report.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 6, 2010: REFERRED TO HOUSING, CONSTRUCTION AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
  • Jan 7, 2009: REFERRED TO HOUSING, CONSTRUCTION AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Memo

 BILL NUMBER:  S119

TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the public housing law, in relation to enacting the "public housing safety and security act of 2009"

PURPOSE : This omnibus bill would create a new Article 12A in the state public housing law by enacting several different statutes designed to increase security at public housing units throughout the state. In addition, the bill would set up a grant program, to be administered under the discretion of the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal for use in increasing security and safety measures at public housing projects.

LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS : The Legislature finds that:

1. The state has a duty to provide public housing that is decent, safe, secure and free from crime;

2. Public housing projects in many areas suffer from rampant crime, including: larceny, robbery, burglary and rape;

3. Drug dealers and criminals are increasingly imposing a reign of terror on public housing tenants;

4. This increase in crime not only leads to murders, muggings and other forms of violence against tenants but also to a deterioration of the physical environment that requires substantial government expenditures; and

5. Local law enforcement authorities often lack the resources to deal with the constant surveillance and patrolling in public housing particularly in light of the recent reductions in federal aid to cities;

6. Recent events at certain housing projects, particularly the Tilden Houses in Brooklyn demonstrate that these issues are extremely serious and urgent in nature.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :

Enacts a new Article 12A in the state public housing law.

Section 310 is the new title.

Section 311 outlines the Legislative findings.

Section 312 provides the authority to make grants under this program.

Section 313 establishes what security enhancement projects grant money can specifically be used for.

Section 314 outlines the application process for securing funds under the grant program.

Section 315 requires the Division of Housing and Community Renewal to make biannual inspections of all public housing units in the state to ensure basic and core security features of the buildings are operational.

Section 316 enacts a new statute requiring the Division of Housing and Community Renewal to submit an annual report to the legislature on the state of public housing in New York. EXISTING LAW : Article 12 of the public housing law currently outlines a program similar to this that attempts to combat the widespread use of drugs and drug dealing in public housing. However, current law does not attempt to combat other serious crimes such as robbery and rape that occur in public housing in New York State.

JUSTIFICATION : It is positive to note that crime in public housing has decreased. However, crime committed in government subsidized housing projects remains greater than the rest of New York City housing establishments. Recent crime statistics reflected that 11% of murders, 11% of rapes and 16% of shootings were committed in public housing projects, yet they only house five percent of the population of New York City. These facilities do not receive a proportionate amount of the security patrol coverage available. The current security measures are inadequate. In 2005, a study by the New York City Council found that a trespasser could successfully access a New York City Housing Authority building by the front door nearly 50% of the time without a key or entry card. This bill will authorize grants that enable creative innovation of security measures that enhance the safety of these public facilities and provide these residents with the dignity and safety that they deserve.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : S.4313a of 2007 04/05/07 Referred to Housing Construction & Community Development

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : A five million dollar appropriation from the general fund will be used to implement this program.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : None.

EFFECTIVE DATE : This act shall take effect on the 180th day after it shall have become a law.

Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 119 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 7, 2009 ___________
Introduced by Sen. SAMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development AN ACT to amend the public housing law, in relation to enacting the "public housing safety and security act of 2009" THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The public housing law is amended by adding a new article 12-A to read as follows: ARTICLE 12-A PUBLIC HOUSING SAFETY AND SECURITY SECTION 310. SHORT TITLE. 311. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS. 312. AUTHORITY TO ISSUE GRANTS. 313. ELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES. 314. APPLICATIONS. 315. PERIODIC SAFETY INSPECTIONS. 316. ANNUAL REPORT. S 310. SHORT TITLE. THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE KNOWN AND MAY BE CITED AS THE "PUBLIC HOUSING SAFETY AND SECURITY ACT OF 2009". S 311. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS. 1. (A) THE STATE HAS A DUTY TO PROVIDE PUBLIC HOUSING THAT IS DECENT, SAFE, SECURE AND FREE FROM CRIME; (B) THOSE WHO LIVE IN PUBLIC HOUSING PROJECTS IN MANY AREAS OF THIS STATE SUFFER FROM RAMPANT CRIME, INCLUDING BREAK-INS, LARCENY, ROBBERY, BURGLARY AND RAPE; (C) DRUG DEALERS ARE INCREASINGLY IMPOSING A REIGN OF TERROR ON PUBLIC HOUSING TENANTS; THE INCREASE IN DRUG-RELATED CRIME NOT ONLY LEADS TO MURDERS, MUGGINGS, AND OTHER FORMS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST TENANTS, BUT ALSO TO A DETERIORATION OF THE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT THAT REQUIRES SUBSTANTIAL GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURES; AND
(D) LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES OFTEN LACK THE RESOURCES TO DEAL WITH THE CONSTANT SURVEILLANCE AND PATROLLING IN PUBLIC HOUSING PARTIC- ULARLY IN LIGHT OF THE RECENT REDUCTIONS IN FEDERAL AID TO CITIES. 2. RECENT EVENTS AT CERTAIN HOUSING PROJECTS, PARTICULARLY THE TILDEN HOUSING PROJECTS IN BROOKLYN DEMONSTRATE THAT THESE ISSUES ARE SERIOUS, PRESSING AND IN NEED OF IMMEDIATE ATTENTION. S 312. AUTHORITY TO ISSUE GRANTS. THE DIVISION, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE, MAY ISSUE GRANTS TO PUBLIC HOUSING AUTHORI- TIES OR AGENCIES FOR USE IN IMPROVING SECURITY IN PUBLIC HOUSING PROJECTS. S 313. ELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES. A PUBLIC HOUSING AUTHORITY OR AGENCY MAY USE A GRANT UNDER THIS ARTICLE FOR: 1. THE EMPLOYMENT OF SECURITY PERSONNEL IN PUBLIC HOUSING PROJECTS; 2. REIMBURSEMENT OF LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES FOR ADDITIONAL SECURITY AND PROTECTIVE SERVICES FOR PUBLIC HOUSING PROJECTS; 3. PHYSICAL IMPROVEMENTS IN PUBLIC HOUSING PROJECTS WHICH ARE SPECIF- ICALLY DESIGNED TO ENHANCE SECURITY; 4. TRAINING, COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT, AND OTHER RELATED EQUIPMENT FOR USE BY VOLUNTARY PUBLIC HOUSING TENANT PATROLS ACTING IN COOPERATION WITH LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS; 5. PROVIDING FUNDING TO NONPROFIT PUBLIC HOUSING RESIDENT MANAGEMENT CORPORATIONS AND TENANT COUNCILS TO DEVELOP SECURITY PROGRAMS INVOLVING SITE RESIDENTS; AND 6. PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF CAMERAS THROUGHOUT PUBLIC AREAS OF PUBLIC HOUSING BUILDINGS. S 314. APPLICATIONS. 1. TO RECEIVE A GRANT UNDER THIS ARTICLE, A PUBLIC HOUSING AUTHORITY OR AGENCY SHALL SUBMIT AN APPLICATION TO THE COMMISSIONER AT SUCH TIME, IN SUCH MANNER, AND ACCOMPANIED BY SUCH ADDI- TIONAL INFORMATION AS THE COMMISSIONER MAY REASONABLY REQUIRE. SUCH APPLICATION SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, A PLAN FOR ADDRESSING SECURITY CONCERNS/ISSUES AT THE REQUESTING PUBLIC AUTHORITY OR AGENCY. 2. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL APPROVE APPLICATIONS UNDER THIS ARTICLE BASED UPON: (A) THE EXTENT OF THE CRIME PROBLEM IN THE FACILITIES OF THE PUBLIC HOUSING PROJECT; (B) THE QUALITY OF THE PLAN OF THE PUBLIC HOUSING AUTHORITY OR AGENCY TO ADDRESS SECURITY CONCERNS IN THE PUBLIC HOUSING PROJECT OR PROJECTS; (C) THE CAPABILITY OF THE PUBLIC HOUSING AUTHORITY OR AGENCY TO CARRY OUT THE PLAN; AND (D) THE EXTENT TO WHICH THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND LOCAL COMMUNITY SUPPORT THE ANTI-CRIME ACTIVITIES OF THE PUBLIC HOUSING AUTHORITY OR AGENCY. S 315. PERIODIC SAFETY INSPECTIONS. PERIODIC SAFETY INSPECTIONS BY DIVISION AGENTS OR EMPLOYEES OF PUBLIC HOUSING UNITS ARE REQUIRED. SUCH INSPECTIONS SHALL OCCUR TWICE PER YEAR AND ENSURE THAT PUBLIC HOUSING UNITS COMPORT WITH (1) LEAD PAINT REGULATIONS; (2) HAVE SUFFICIENT AND OPERATIONAL LOCKING DOORS; (3) ENTRANCES AND DOORWAYS INTO AND OUT OF BUILDINGS ARE SECURE AND STRUCTURALLY SOUND; (4) WINDOWS IN PUBLIC AREAS HAVE ADEQUATE LOCKING DEVICES THAT WORK; AND (5) SUCH OTHER AND FURTHER INSPECTION AS IS DEEMED NECESSARY BY THE DIVISION. THE AGENCY SHALL DEVELOP REGULATIONS SUFFICIENT TO EFFECT INSPECTIONS PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION. S 316. ANNUAL REPORT. THE DIVISION SHALL SUBMIT AN ANNUAL REPORT TO THE GOVERNOR, TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, SPEAKER OF THE ASSEM- BLY, MINORITY LEADER OF THE SENATE AND THE MINORITY LEADER OF THE ASSEM- BLY, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, OUTLINING THE STATE OF SAFETY AND
SECURITY AT PUBLIC HOUSING UNITS THROUGHOUT THE STATE; SPECIFIC BUILD- INGS THAT HAVE FAILED DIVISION INSPECTION; VIOLATIONS; AND NUMBER OF CRIMES THAT HAVE OCCURRED AT EACH PROJECT. S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law.

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