New housing program aims to reduce crime

January 14, 2008 4:15:40 PM PST
If you break the rules - you get evicted. That's the premise of a new program aimed to reduce crime in one South Jersey community. The program will aim to designate Glassboro's rental properties as crime-free. It's the first effort of its kind to reduce crime in the Gloucester County town. Today, officials released details on the plan.

Under the new program Glassboro is creating a more efficient partnership between police and apartment owners and managers to help crack down on crime. It encourages background checks on potential tenants and easier evictions.

Glassboro has 165 apartment complexes and rental duplex and triplexes. The plan called the "Crime free multi-housing program" is designed to help rental property owners and managers operate safer and crime reduced facilities. A focal point is getting tenants to sign this lease addendum.

The plan calls for landlord training, physical safety improvements from door peep holes to trimmed shrubs. In the end the complex would get a certification ? a stamp of approval that tells potential renters that this is a safe place to live.

Eviction officials say is a strong tool in cutting apartment complex crime. They say it has helped reduce police calls at a public housing project from 160 calls a month to under 15.