|HUD Region V No. 12-002
Laura J. Feldman
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January 30, 2012
HUD EXPANDS JOB AND CONTRACTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR LOW-INCOME INDIVIDUALS AND THE BUSINESSES THAT HIRE THEM
New online database promotes Section 3 hiring and contracting opportunities for Detroit businesses and residents
DETROIT - At a press conference today, attended by Congressional Representatives Hansen Clarke, John Conyers and Gary Peters as well as, Mayor Dave Bing, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it is launching a Section 3 Business Registry pilot program in Detroit that will expand job opportunities for low-income people and public housing residents by maintaining a registry of businesses that currently hire them. Additionally, HUD is implementing the pilot program in New Orleans, Los Angeles, Miami and Washington D.C. to give contracting agencies and low-income residents a single source of information to find eligible Section 3 businesses and job opportunities.
Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 promotes employment, training, and contracting opportunities to low-income residents who live in communities where HUD funds are spent. As a result, Section 3 promotes self-sufficiency for low-income persons, fosters the creation of small businesses, and helps build strong local economies. Based on the data received so far, in 2010 HUD investments led to 38,000 new jobs- of which 47% were Section 3 hires. Almost 4,000 Section 3 business concerns received over $475 million in contracts. These numbers will increase as reporting continues.
Under the pilot, HUD's Section 3 Business Registry will offer a searchable online database that housing authorities, local government agencies, and contractors can use to identify firms that have self-certified their status as Section 3 businesses and that hire low-income individuals.
"This business registry will maximize the impact of HUD investments on jobs and contracting opportunities," said John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "It's a win-win situation for Detroit residents who are looking for training and job opportunities as well as for businesses that hire them."
"The strong leadership and great vitality of the Detroit Region make it ideal for the Section 3 Business Registry pilot program, which will help low-income residents and the businesses that hire them," said Antonio R. Riley, HUD's Midwest Regional Administrator.
Since 2009, HUD has increased Section 3 reporting from 20% to 80% of eligible HUD recipients. HUD has supported recipients by providing technical assistance and training in Section 3 compliance and conducted a listening session of stakeholders from various sectors to hear ideas for improvement. Recent HUD funding enabled 12 local recipients (public housing authorities, states, counties, and cities) to hire full-time Section 3 coordinators.
The Section 3 Business Registry's online database is also intended to make compliance easier for recipients. It will increase the visibility of Section 3 firms and afford them better access to contracting opportunities. In addition, Section 3 residents will be encouraged to use the Section 3 Business Registry to identify businesses that may have employment opportunities they can apply for.
The press conference ended with testimonials by business leaders and individuals who have been helped by Section 3.
The Section 3 business registry pilot program will run until the fall of 2012. For more information about or to search HUD's new Section 3 Business Registry, visit HUD's website.
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 at @HUDnews or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.