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Jobs-plus Community Revitalization Initiative

Jobs-Plus is a welfare-to-work demonstration project aimed at significantly increasing employment and income of public housing residents in selected cities.

Jobs are the key to eliminating persistent poverty. The Jobs-Plus demonstration will provide intensive, employment-focused programs targeting every able-bodied, working-age welfare recipient at a public housing development in each of seven cities: Baltimore, Chattanooga, Cleveland, Dayton, Los Angeles, St. Paul, and Seattle. The Jobs-Plus program implemented in each city will be locally designed, with residents playing a central role in designing and managing elements of the program. The initiative is also a response to new national policies, such as time-limited welfare and cuts in public housing subsidies, that endanger the ability of public housing residents to pay rent.

Type of Assistance:
The Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC), a New York-based, nonprofit organization with expertise in the evaluation of employment and welfare-to-work strategies, will provide technical assistance to the collaboratives to help them design and implement their plans over a 5-year period. Each housing authority will receive a $200,000 grant--to be matched at least 2 to 1 at the local level--for the direct costs of Jobs-Plus implementation and research activities. MDRC will evaluate the long-term impacts of different sites' approaches to Jobs-Plus residents, families, public housing developments, and inner-city communities and document the lessons that emerge from the sites' experiences. MDRC is being funded by HUD, the Rockefeller Foundation, and other public agencies and philanthropies.

Eligible Customers:
Job-ready, adults in public housing will benefit in the seven cities: Baltimore, Chattanooga, Cleveland, Dayton, Los Angeles, St. Paul, and Seattle. These residents will benefit from the employment income and from the related community services that will support their employment. Jobs-Plus will build collaborations among public housing residents, the private sector, public housing authorities, mayors and agencies including local welfare departments, the education and training community, social service agencies, and community redevelopment officials.

Eligible Activities:
Each project must include three broad program elements: 1) work incentives--tangible incentives implemented through State welfare law and/or changes in the rent rules for public housing developments; 2) state-of-the-art strategies for effective employment training, placement, and retention; and 3) enhanced ability of the public housing community to actively promote and support work among working-age residents.

MDRC invited interested communities to submit a brief "Statement of Interest" in being part of the demonstration. In each city, the invitation went to the mayor, the directors of the local public housing authority, the State and/or local welfare agency, the Job Training Partnership Act Private Industry Council, and foundations. MDRC then consulted with HUD to select candidate urban areas. Jobs-Plus is a subset of the Moving-to-Work Demonstration . No new applications are being accepted.

Funding Status:
The Jobs-Plus initiative is being funded by $5 million in Federal funds under HUD's Moving-to-Work initiative, matched by a $5 million grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, with additional support from other public agencies and philanthropies.

Technical Guidance:
Jobs-Plus is authorized under Section 204 of P. L. 104-134, Omnibus Consolidated and Recissions and Appropriations Act of 1996. It was announced in the Federal Register FR-4123-N-01. It is administered by HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research.

For More Information:
Garland E. Allen at (202) 708-3700, extension 126, is the program officer at HUD headquarters.