The Crusader Newspaper Group

HUD awards $100M to help public housing residents secure higher paying jobs and become self-sufficient

Housing authorities receive funding under Jobs Plus and Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Programs

In an effort to help low-income residents find higher-paying jobs and become self-sufficient, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced a combined nearly $100 million investment through HUD’s Jobs Plus Pilot Program and Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program. Together, these programs support local public housing authorities and their partners to help residents increase earned income and financial literacy, reduce or eliminate the need for welfare assistance, and make progress toward economic independence and self-sufficiency.

HUD’s Jobs Plus Pilot Program supports work readiness and connects public housing residents with employment, education and financial empowerment services-and it’s a model proven to help public housing residents find and keep jobs. HUD’s FSS Program promotes the development of local strategies to connect Housing Choice Voucher recipients and families living in public housing with public and private resources to increase earned income and financial literacy.

HUD’s Jobs-Plus Pilot Program support public housing authorities with tools they need to connect their residents with employment and training services to improve their economic circumstances. The Jobs Plus Pilot Program capitalizes on a successful demonstration program that combines traditional employment, training and job placement services with a rent incentive and a place-based investment in building community support for work. The program model, which requires PHAs to partner with Department of Labor American Jobs Centers, promotes initiatives to improve employment and earnings outcomes, a critical element of self-sufficiency for all families. Targeting an entire development helps residents support each other through the process.

Recently, the non-profit organization MDRC released a report focused on the impacts of Jobs Plus among public housing residents. MDRC’s analysis sought to test whether a program that combined employment and training services, new rent rules to “make work pay,” and neighbor-to-neighbor outreach centering on work could make a difference in the economic prospects of public housing residents. The study found that public housing residents who participated in Jobs Plus saw a 16 percent increase in earned income and that these earnings remained higher seven years after exiting the program.

The FSS Program help PHAs to hire service coordinators who work directly with residents to connect them with programs and services that already exist in the local community. Service coordinators also build relationships with the network of local service providers so as to more effectively serve the residents. The program encourages innovative strategies that link public housing and Housing Choice Voucher assistance with other resources to enable participating families to find jobs, increase earned income, reduce or eliminate the need for rental and/or welfare assistance, and make progress toward achieving economic independence and self-sufficiency.

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