HUD No. 03-112
October 23, 2003
MARTINEZ ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $47.6 MILLION IN GRANTS TO HELP FAMILIES ACROSS THE U.S.
Funding Aimed at Making Families Employable, Self-Sufficient
WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez announced $47,688,000 in grants today to 771 housing authorities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico 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. "HUD is committed to revitalizing communities through job advocacy, training programs and economic development."
Choice Voucher Family Self-Sufficiency (HCV/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.