HUD awards $125,000 to troubled apartments Lansdowne complex has crime problem

October 29, 1998|By Melody Simmons | Melody Simmons,SUN STAFF

A troubled low-income apartment complex in southwestern fTC Baltimore County was awarded a $125,000 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant yesterday to help establish after-school activities, a mentoring program and a summer basketball camp.

The 303-unit Circle Terrace Apartments in Lansdowne have been beset by crime in recent years, but news of the grant left Circle Terrace officials hopeful.

"It ensures a great future for Circle Terrace and for the surrounding community," said Cleveland Henry, resident services coordinator at the complex. "It's a big plus."

The once-blighted complex was bought in 1991 by Warwick, R.I.-based Landex Management Corp., which has spent $15 million on renovations.

The 790 tenants are mostly poor, single mothers who have moved from the city. Henry said officials have tried for years to solve the problems at the complex, which abuts the Riverview community.

Most of those problems stem from heavy drug dealing, which recently led county police to open a substation in a vacant Circle Terrace apartment.

James S. Kelly, a Baltimore HUD spokesman, said Circle Terrace is "building on the strengths that they already have. What they are proposing is to respond to the residents' concerns and find positive ways to involve the youth at the complex."

The grant will help in setting up outreach programs to be run from the complex's main office and in classrooms installed in the Circle Terrace community room, Henry said.

Among the five new programs will be a summer basketball camp and a mentoring and family education program. Henry said the complex is planning to hire a youth coordinator.

Existing projects at the complex include a welfare-to-work effort sponsored by Goodwill Industries of Maryland, a lunch program for children and teen-agers, and county-funded literacy and computer classes.

Pub Date: 10/29/98

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