|HUD No. 14-01
Adam Glantz (212) 264-1100
Olga Alvarez (212) 542-7142
January 2, 2014
HUD AWARDS $1.6 MILLION TO NEW JERSEY PUBLIC HOUSING AUTHORITIES TO PROMOTE FAMILY SELF-SUFFICIENCY
Funding helps gain critical employment/life skills to compete for decent jobs
NEWARK – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) just awarded $1,670,360 in grants to hire 29 Service Coordinators to help New Jersey residents receiving housing assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher Program to gain access to education, job training and employment. HUD's Housing Choice Voucher Family Self-Sufficiency Program (HCV-FSS) helps public housing authorities across the country to hire or retain more than one thousand service coordinators who will work directly with families to connect them to the supportive services that meet their individual needs and to become gainfully employed. The grants are part of nearly $57 million awarded to hundreds of public housing authorities across the country. See New Jersey grantees
"This is a modest investment that can make a world of difference for families looking to find their path to self-sufficiency," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "As America's economy continues to recover, it's critical that we work to make sure every American has the skills and resources they need to successfully compete for jobs in the 21st Century."
The service coordinators retained or hired through these programs work directly with residents to connect them with local organizations that provide education and job training and placement opportunities; as well as childcare, counseling, transportation and computer and financial literacy services available in their community. Both programs encourage innovative strategies that link public housing and Housing Choice Voucher assistance with other resources to enable participating families to find employment; increase earned income; reduce or eliminate the need for rental and/or welfare assistance; and make progress toward achieving economic independence and housing self-sufficiency.
Participants sign a five-year contract that requires the head of the household to obtain employment and no longer receive welfare assistance at the end of the five-year term. As the family's income rises, a portion of that increased income is deposited in an interest-bearing escrow account. If the family successfully completes its FSS contract, the family receives the escrow funds that it can use for any purpose, including paying educational expenses, starting a business or paying debts.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on Twitter at @HUDgov or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv