March 10, 2009
HUD AWARDS FUNDING TO BRING JOBS, ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE TO PUBLIC HOUSING RESIDENTS IN CONNECTICUT
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently awarded funding to three public housing
authorities in Connecticut that will be used to help public housing residents find jobs that lead them toward
economic independence. This $190,109 in statewide funding was part of nearly $12 million awarded to 207 public housing agencies across the U.S.
The grants are provided through HUD's Public Housing Family Self-Sufficiency Program, which enables public housing agencies (PHA) to hire program coordinators who work directly with residents to connect them with local education and training opportunities; job placement organizations and local employers. The purpose of the program is to encourage local innovative strategies that link public housing assistance with public and private resources to enable participating families to increase earned income; reduce or eliminate the need for welfare assistance; and make progress toward achieving economic independence and housing self-sufficiency.
The grant recipients in Connecticut are:
Housing Authority of the City of Meriden $55,179 Housing Authority of the City of Norwalk $67,465 Housing Authority of the City of Greenwich $67,465
"As America prepares to meet the growing challenges brought on by rising unemployment, it helps to have a helping hand guide individuals to training and job opportunities in their community," said Julie Fagan, HUD's field office
director in Connecticut. "These grants will help public housing residents find employment or assist others who want
to increase their earning power."
Under the Family Self-Sufficiency program, participants sign a five-year contract that stipulates the head of the household will find suitable employment and the family will no longer receive public assistance at the end of the program. Because public housing and voucher rents are tied to income, when income rises normally rent rises as
well. With the FSS program, the rent increase is paid to the housing authority, but goes into an interest-bearing escrow account. If the participant successfully graduates from the program, he or she can use the escrow account for a variety of goals, including down payment on a home, starting a business, paying back debts or paying educational expenses. A HUD study showed low-income families who participated in a similar HUD family self-sufficiency program saw their incomes increase at a higher rate than non-participants.
Note to reporters: For specific information on how the grantees will administer the funding (or to request an interview with a participant in the program), please contact the appropriate housing authority. For information on the Family Self Sufficiency program, or other HUD programs and services, please contact Kristine Foye at (617)
994-8218 or via email.