FY 1999 Annual Performance PlanStrategic Objective 5
Provide Empowerment and Self-Sufficiency Opportunities for Low-Income Individuals and Families, Particularly the Nation's Poor and Disadvantaged
To effectively implement this objective, the Department has proposed an initial four-pronged action plan to begin implementing the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996:
HUD is in a unique position to assist in helping people move
from welfare to work. Through public housing, Section 8, and
CDBG target areas, HUD programs have a physical presence where
the poor live. HUD programs provide flexible assistance capable
of effecting different interventions that may be necessary to
promote self-sufficiency. HUD can both provide the assistance
needed to create and retain jobs and provide the training and
other service that lower income individuals need to be able to
take advantage of those jobs. Flexible formula grants, like CDBG,
let communities take advantage of more restricted funding provided
by other agencies. CDBG, for example, can fund local plans for
promoting self-sufficiency. It can also fund services that may
be needed to help people take advantage of opportunities provided
through the Departments of Transportation and Labor. HUD, in
fact, is working with other agencies to help promote self-sufficiency.
For example, its JOBS Plus demonstration is jointly funded and
closely coordinated with HHS. HUD's Bridges to Work demonstration
features coordination with Transportation.
Creation and Retention of Jobs
Bringing jobs and job access to distressed communities requires
working with other Federal agencies and contributes to the Administration's
goal of making welfare reform work. Targeting neighborhoods with
high concentrations of poor families, including those on welfare,
HUD's core economic development programs can be used to generate
jobs that will be available to welfare recipients entering the
work force. The programs summarized below will produce good jobs
for those neighborhoods.
Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities (EZ/EC) (Round
A key element in the strategy to produce suitable jobs in distressed
areas and empower low- and moderate-income persons to take advantage
of those jobs is the EZ/EC program. Each of the 72 Urban EZ/ECs
has developed performance benchmarks which provide a blueprint
for an entrepreneurial way to distribute funds and to fulfill
commitments. Those benchmarks are compiled into a unique Strategic
Plan for urban revitalization, which monitors these zones and
communities closely and helps ensure that progress proceeds in
an orderly fashion.
HUD promotes partnerships with private and community service
providers who can help residents achieve self-sufficiency and
has proposed an expansion of Empowerment Zones to help communities
create more job opportunities. Current strategy includes legislation
to create another round of 20 EZs and 80 new ECs across the country.
These new EZs and ECs would focus on moving residents from welfare
and poverty to work.
CDBG, Economic Development Initiatives (EDI) and Section 108
Section 108 allows communities to leverage private funds for
large-scale job creation and community development initiatives.
EDI grants supplement these programs by providing grants for
large-impact projects. EDI money may be used to capitalize innovative
financial institutions and has already been used very successfully
for this purpose. CPD will continue to improve the leverage of
CPD programs by focusing job creation activities on the Section
108 loan guarantee along with the EDI grants.
Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968, as
amended by the Housing Act of 1992, requires that economic opportunities
generated by HUD financial assistance shall, to the greatest extent
feasible, be given to low and very low-income persons. This applies
to public housing programs and to programs for housing rehabilitation
and construction and other public construction projects. It is
a program that essentially links low-income and welfare recipients
Priority for training and employment is provided to low-income
persons who are residents of public and assisted housing, residents
of the neighborhood where the programs are being operated, participants
in Youthbuild, and homeless persons. Priority in contracting
is also given to businesses which offer opportunities to these
classes for low-income persons. The Department will aggressively
work with recipients and their agencies and contractors to reach
eligible Section 3 residents and to help them access jobs, training,
contract opportunities or other economic benefits.
CPD and other HUD programs: Welfare reform measures
CPD is now working with other program areas of HUD to develop
strategies to provide jobs to long-term welfare recipients. These
proposals have not yet been finalized. There are hundreds of
projects all over the United States funded under the CDBG program
listed in the 1995 Action Plans which offer support activities
to improve the lives of public housing residents. Often these
fund self-sufficiency programs for public housing residents.
Coordinate Housing Assistance with Welfare Reform Efforts
Rent Incentives to Reward Work
Creating income diversity in traditional public housing through
rent incentives helps to retain/attract working families and encourages
families to move to work or better work. Mechanisms such as ceiling
rents will permit PHAs to retain and attract working families
by setting ceiling rents that reflect market value. PHAs are
also creating work incentives for newly-employed families by allowing
them to retain more of their incomes as they meet the "costs"
of transitioning from welfare to work. The use of site-based
waiting lists, where they can be implemented in full compliance
with all fair housing laws, increases public housing's attractiveness
to working families by permitting them to choose where they live.
HUD supports changing public and assisted housing rent rules
that discourage work. When tenant rental payments are tied to
income, any increase in income leads to an automatic rent increase.
To prevent this disincentive, HUD has supported ceiling rents
in public housing and provided Housing Authorities with the flexibility
to disregard some or all earned income.
Provision of Services
Regional Outreach Counseling
Counseling can help Section 8 recipients - who are often welfare
recipients - identify housing locations that improve access to
jobs and supportive services throughout a metropolitan area.
The program, Neighborhood Networks, provides computer learning
centers and education and employment services in privately owned
assisted housing developments. These centers are funded from
existing project revenues and reserves and do not require new
Youthbuild is a highly effective program that provides at-risk
youth with educational and employment skills. The program offers
16 to 24 year old high school dropouts general academic and job
skills training, as well as apprenticeship constructing and rehabilitating
HOME Tenant Based Rental Assistance
Jurisdictions may use HOME funds to provide tenant based rental
assistance to assist welfare recipients as they transition to
jobs. HOME tenant based rental assistance is a flexible resource
which communities can integrate into locally-designed plans to
assist persons with special needs, including those participating
in self-sufficiency programs.
Linkage to HUD 2020: Management Reform Plan
CPD approves over 1,300 competitive grants a year, but staff
reductions of 23% since 1992 have prevented adequate monitoring.
The introduction of the Grants Management System includes an
annual comparative review of all entitlement grantees, showing
the full spectrum from "best practices" to high-risk
projects and cities in need of technical assistance and monitoring.
Structurally, the Office of Block Grant Assistance and the Office
of Affordable Housing will be combined into the Office of Community
For other reforms which will impact on this objective, see also
the Linkage section under earlier objectives, especially Community
Resource Representatives (Objective #1).
As with other objectives, HUD's ability to provide self-sufficiency
opportunities is constrained by the nature of its programs. Where
HUD provides flexible assistance to cities, counties, housing
agencies, and States to use at their discretion, HUD has no direct
control over the extent to which the funds will be used to address
Also as with other objectives, broad economic factors greatly
affect the extent to which low income people will become self-sufficient.
Vigorous, sustained economic growth will do more to promote self-sufficiency
than HUD can do. And a decline in the economy will more than
offset HUD's best efforts.
The job readiness of those with low incomes is another key external
factor. Where people reach adulthood with little education, there
are limits to the types of jobs to which they can aspire. Certainly,
HUD-funded job opportunities and services can help, and along
with educational and training opportunities funded through other
agencies, they should have an important impact. But realistically,
relatively few people who have reached their 30s with little education,
with families, and little work history, will achieve great success
in this economy.
Annual Performance Goals
The ultimate goal of this objective is to move an increasing number of residents of assisted multifamily projects off welfare. The measurement of this indicator will depend on future collaborative efforts between HUD, HHS and Labor. Providing economic opportunities for low and moderate income persons through creation and retention of jobs will also be the result of coordination with other agencies. However, HUD can measure the number of jobs created as a direct result of HUD funds, especially EDI and Section 108. We also can increase annually the number of partnerships that help residents achieve self-sufficiency in each Empowerment Zone and Enterprise Community.
|Content Archived: November 29, 2011|