|Region VI: 11-190
Patricia Campbell (817) 978-5974
Scott Hudman (713) 718-3107
September 14, 2011
HUD AWARDS $286,000 TO PROMOTE JOBS, SELF-SUFFICIENCY AND TO PROVIDE INDEPENDENT LIVING FOR HUD-ASSISTED RESIDENTS IN ARKANSAS
Hot Springs, Jonesboro, N Little Rock, Pine Bluff and West Memphis Receive Grants
LITTLE ROCK - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded grants to help public and assisted housing residents find employment and get needed services and to help the elderly and people with disabilities maintain independent living. The funding allows grantees to retain or hire "service coordinators" or case workers to work directly with these HUD-assisted families to connect them to the supportive services that meet their individual needs. The list of grantees and amounts follows.
The grants announced today are through the Public Housing - Family Self-Sufficiency Program (PH-FSS) and the Multifamily Housing Service Coordinator Program (MHSC).
"Providing housing assistance alone is often not enough to help individuals increase their independence," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "The service coordinators funded through these programs open doors that help HUD-assisted families find jobs, access services and assist the elderly and disabled to continue living as independently as possible in their homes."
The Public Housing Family Self-Sufficiency Program allows public housing authorities to hire or retain service coordinators to work directly with residents to connect them with education, job training and placement programs and/or computer and financial literacy services available in their community to promote self-sufficiency.
The Multifamily Housing Service Coordinator Program provides funding to owners of privately owned housing developments for the elderly and disabled who have contracts with HUD to house low-income individuals. These owners, or their management companies, hire or contract service coordinators with backgrounds in providing social services, especially to the elderly and people with disabilities, to assist their residents with special needs so they can continue living independently.
Nationally, HUD estimates that the funding announced today will allow the grantees to hire new employees, or retain the approximately 650 service coordinators who are currently working with HUD-assisted individuals.
Public housing residents who participate in the PH-FSS program sign a contract with the housing authority which outlines their responsibilities towards completion of training and employment objectives over a five-year period. For those families receiving welfare assistance, the housing authority must establish an interim goal that the participating family be independent from welfare assistance prior to the expiration of the contract. During their participation, residents may create an escrow account funded with their increasing income, which they may use in a variety of ways, including continuing their education or making major purchase.
HUD's PH-FSS program is a long-standing resource for increasing economic security and self-sufficiency among participants. HUD issued a new report (http://www.huduser.org/portal/publications/affhsg/eval_fssp.html) earlier this year that evaluated the effectiveness of the FSS Program. Conducted from 2005 to 2009, the study shows the financial benefits are substantial for participants who remain and complete the program. This study is the second of
a three-part series by HUD that evaluate the effects of the FSS program. The first study (http://www.huduser.org/portal/publications/econdev/selfsufficiency.html) found individuals who participated in the FSS program fared better financially than those who did not enroll in the program. HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) will launch the third and final installment to complete the series this year.
The MFSC program allows multifamily housing owners to assist elderly individuals and nonelderly people with
disabilities living in HUD-assisted housing and in the surrounding area to obtain needed supportive services from the community. The grants are awarded for an initial three-year period and cover such costs as salary, fringe benefits, quality assurance, training, office space, equipment, and other related administrative expenses. A report (http://www.huduser.org/portal/periodicals/ResearchWorks/june_09/RW_vol6num6t2.html) HUD released in 2009
noted that aging in place reduces rates of premature institutionalization for low-income elderly residents, thus reducing the costs borne by taxpayers.
The grantees in Arkansas are:
|Public Housing Family Self-Sufficiency Grants|
|Housing Authority of Pine Bluff||$28,500|
|Housing Authority of the City of Hot Springs||$27,390|
|Housing Authority of the City of North Little Rock Arkansas||$40,629|
|Housing Authority of the City of West Memphis||$42,652|
|Multifamily Housing Service Coordinators Grant|
|Jonesboro Ecumenical Center, Inc.||Jonesboro||$147,104|
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.