HUD Sends States $49 Million to Boost Job Training for Low-Income Residents
The U.S.rnDepartment of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is releasing over $49 millionrnto public housing agencies in 49 states plus Guam and Puerto Rico to increase job training for low-income residents.
Thernfunding, announced Tuesday by HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, is part of therndepartment's Housing Choice Voucher Family Self Sufficiency Program (HCV/FSS),rnoriginally established in 1990. Familiesrnparticipating in the Housing Choice Voucher portion of the program may voluntarilyrnparticipate in the Family Self Sufficiency Program.
Accordingrnto HUD, the grantsrnallow public housing agencies (PHAs) to work with welfare agencies, schools,rnbusinesses, and other local partners to develop a comprehensive program designedrnto help participating individuals develop the skills and experience necessary tornobtain jobs that pay a living wage.
The PHAs can use the funds for additional staff to link up adults enrolledrnin the program with local organizations in order to receive appropriate jobrntraining, childcare, counseling, transportation, and ultimately jobrnplacement. The PHAs can also use thernfunds to provide families with household skills training and homeownershiprncounseling.
Participants in the program sign a contract with the PSA pledging thatrnthe head of the household will get a job and that no family member will bernreceiving welfare assistance at the end of five years. Once the family memberrnis employed and the family income increases, the PSA establishes anrninterest-bearing escrow account for the employee and credits money representingrna portion of that increase to the account. rnOnce the family completes its FSS contract, which also requires that thernfamily comply with the lease, and specifies all goals and services for thernfamily, the escrowed funds are released to the participant and can be used as arndown payment on a home, to start a business, or for debt repayment, educationalrnexpenses, or other purposes. If thernfamily fails to fulfill its contractual obligations, the escrow account isrnforfeited.
The $49 million awarded to states ranges in amounts from $34,000 tornWyoming to $6.3 million granted to California. rnDelaware and the District of Columbia do not appear on the list of grantrnrecipients.
Secretary Donovan said of the awards, “In today's economy, thisrnprogram is needed more than ever to help families obtain the skills that leadrnto jobs. On the heels of President Obama signing the jobs bill that will boostrnjob creation, I'm pleased HUD is providing this funding to local housingrnauthorities that will keep caseworkers on the job to assist families in HUD'srnvoucher program find employment.”
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