SAHA is the only housing authority across the nation to be competitively awarded a Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation (BCJI) program grant from the Department of Justice. BCJI is a data-driven approach leveraging research and innovation to identify the drivers of crime in a location and to develop place-based, community-oriented strategies to address neighborhood-level crime.
SAHA’s grant award totals $600,000, and will fund efforts among a number of local partners, including the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD), Trinity University, St. Philip’s College, and local businesses and residents, to work together to significantly reduce criminal activity in San Antonio’s Eastside.
The strategic implementation of the safety improvement effort, to be accomplished over a 3-year period, will include: addressing street lighting, code enforcement and abandoned structures, as well as implementing a crime data-sharing program between SAHA and SAPD.
“We are committed to developing and maintaining safe and vibrant communities,” said Lourdes Castro Ramírez, SAHA President and CEO. “This grant will serve as a much-needed source of funds to implement a strategic approach to reducing criminal activity in the area, while recapturing a sense of security and ownership for eastside residents.”
This area of the city’s Eastside has been the focus of a number of revitalization activities, including SAHA’s Wheatley Choice Neighborhoods (CNI) and United Way’s Eastside Promise Neighborhood initiatives. CNI defines strategies to transform the area into a viable and sustainable mixed-income community, with quality affordable housing, education, employment, health and economic development opportunities. Promise Neighborhoods is a $23.7 million effort, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, to bolster children’s educational achievement and foster community development.