|Reg. VI: 16-52
Patricia Campbell/Scott Hudman
September 27, 2016
HUD AWARDS HOUSTON HOUSING AUTHORITY GRANT TO HELP LOW INCOME RESIDENTS RECEIVE JOB TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT
FORT WORTH - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded $327,282 to the Houston Housing Authority (HHA) to support seven full-time Family Self Sufficiency Coordinators. Program coordinators work with participating families taking the necessary steps to achieve economic independence. Funded through HUD's Family Self-Sufficiency program (FSS), grants allow public housing agencies (PHAs) to work with social service agencies, community colleges, businesses and other local partners to help public housing residents advance their education or gain marketable skills that will help them get a job or advance in their current workplace. Service Coordinators build relationships with the network of local service providers so as to more effectively serve the residents. The program encourages innovative strategies that link rental assistance with other resources.
HUD awarded $75 million nationwide through the FSS program to help families living in public housing or participating in HUD's Housing Choice Voucher program connect with services to further their education, find good jobs and to set them on a path to self-sufficiency. Due to the Presidential Disaster Area declared as a result of the April flooding, HUD provided program application extensions to local agencies undergoing that hardship. The Houston Housing Authority's subsequent grant application proved successful.
"Connecting folks to jobs is an important part of HUD's mission as the Department of Opportunity," said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. "By linking people to computer access, job training, childcare and ultimately financial empowerment, these grants help people who are ready to compete and succeed in the workplace. HUD is proud to give them these tools for self-sufficiency."
"I'm very pleased that HHA advanced a successful application under difficult circumstances," said Tammye H. Treviño, HUD Regional Administrator. "As a result of their hard work, Self Sufficiency Coordinators will continue to assist Houston families making the journey to better their lives and achieve financial independence."
Participants in the program sign a five-year contract that requires the head of the household to obtain employment and that no member of the FSS family is receiving cash welfare assistance at the end of the five-year term. Families in the FSS program have an interest-bearing escrow account established for them. The amount credited to the family's escrow account is based on increases in the family's earned income during the term of the FSS contract. If the family successfully completes its FSS contract, the family receives the escrow funds that it can use for any purpose, including improving credit scores, paying educational expenses or a down-payment on a home.
The Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) program is a long-standing resource for increasing economic security and self-sufficiency among participants. HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research issued Evaluation of FSS Program: Prospective Study (www.huduser.org/portal/publications/affhsg/eval_fssp.html) in 2011 that evaluated the effectiveness of the FSS program. Conducted from 2005 to 2009, the study showed that financial benefits are substantial for participants who remain in and complete the program. An earlier study (www.huduser.org/portal/publications/econdev/selfsufficiency.html) found that individuals who participated in the FSS program fared better financially than those who did not enroll in the program. HUD is currently conducting a longitudinal study on the program, with the first set of results expected in 2018.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet
at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov.
You can also connect with HUD on social media and follow Secretary Castro on Twitter and Facebook or sign up for news alerts on HUD's Email List.