ATLANTIC CITY — The Atlantic City Housing Authority received $250,000 in federal funding last month as part of an effort to upgrade surveillance camera systems and prevent crime in public housing.
The grant, part of the $5 million awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to 25 agencies in 15 states, was directed toward bringing safety measures to public housing properties, such as lighting, security cameras, fencing, alarm systems and window bars.
“It’s great that we finally did get the grant to complete this,” said Tom Hannon, acting executive director of the ACHA.
The grant money will help complete the project that upgrades the lighting and the existing surveillance camera systems at the four high-rise buildings: Jeffries Tower, Inlet Tower, Shore Park and Altman Terrace, Hannon said.
The surveillance system will be upgraded to a digital system, which ultimately will be hooked up to the Atlantic City Police Department’s surveillance center. The camera systems at Stanley Holmes Village and at Buzby Village were previously updated and completed by 2015.
Hannon said the authority has been applying for this grant to complete the project since it has been offered for the past eight years.
The funding is coming through the Capital Fund Emergency Safety and Security Program, which is meant to help local housing authorities address safety concerns, including increases in violent or property-related crimes in the communities, according to a department news release. This is an effort to address emergency and security needs and to prevent crime in the communities, the release said.
“Everyone should feel safe in their home,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a statement. “This funding will allow public housing authorities to put in place additional safety measures that provide greater security and protection for residents.”
Hannon said crime in these communities is not a new issue, but the cameras and upgrades will help police prevent crime.
“We have noticed that there have been issues, regarding not necessarily violent crimes, but drug-related crimes,” Hannon said. “This is really not a new condition or situation.”
The authority hopes to have the project completed by spring 2018, and Hannon credits the Police Department for help in getting the grant.
Three other municipal housing authorities in New Jersey received grants, including Asbury Park, Camden and Penns Grove.