On September 21, 2012, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development announced it was awarding grants totaling $75 million to help individuals in assisted housing receive education and training in order to find jobs. The funds span across the United States, as well as Guam, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. A total of 1,500 service coordinators will work with the assisted families and help connect them to appropriate services.
The Public Housing-Family Self-Sufficiency Program (PH-FSS) will receive $15 million, and the Housing Choice Voucher-Family Self-Sufficiency Program (HCV-FSS) will receive $60 million.
The service coordinators will not only connect individuals to organizations for education and job training. The coordinators will also connect the participating individuals to services for childcare, counseling, computer literacy, transportation, and more.
According to HUD, the participants in either program are required to sign a 5-year contract requiring the head of household to become employed and opt out of welfare assistance at the end of five years. The family’s income will likely rise while in the program, and a portion of the increasing income is placed in an escrow account that gains interest. Once the family completes the program, they will receive the funds from the escrow accounts, and they can use these funds for anything like education, starting a business, or paying off debt.
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan states, “This funding ultimately link individuals to childcare, computer access, job training and other basic skills individuals need to compete for jobs that pay a living wage. To continue to grow America’s economy, we must see to it that every American has the skills and resources they need to become gainfully employed.”
The Policy Development and Research office under HUB will continue to conduct studies and follow-ups concerning the effectiveness of the programs.
Source: Department of Housing and Urban Development