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HUD No. 02-108
(202) 708-0685
For Release
October 3, 2002

Bush Administration Funding Aimed At Revitalizing Communities

WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez announced $45,972,854 million in grants today to 687 housing authorities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands that will be used for job training and placement for low-income citizens.

"This funding will help thousands of citizens find employment and eventually become economically independent," said Martinez. "The Bush Administration is committed to revitalizing communities through job advocacy, training programs and economic development, and these grants will help these states and territories strengthen neighborhoods."

HUD's Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program provides funds to public housing agencies specifically for the employment of family self-sufficiency coordinators. The FSS coordinators assist adults in job training, childcare, counseling, transportation and job placement programs.

Participants in the job preparedness program, some of whom are on welfare, sign a contract that stipulates the head of the household will get a job and the family will become self-sufficient within five years. While enrolled in the program, as a family's income rises, a third of that income goes to an interest-bearing escrow account.

If a family fulfills the contract requiring employment and independence from welfare, they can use the escrow account for down payment on a home purchase, starting a business, paying back debts and paying educational expenses. If a family fails to fulfill the contract, they do not get the funds in the escrow account and may be terminated from the FSS Program.

HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities, creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans, supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet.



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