HUD Awards $74 Million to Help Families Reach Self-Sufficiency; Service Coordinators to Work with Residents to Connect Them with Programs and Services
U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson has recently awarded $74 million to hundreds of public housing authorities across the country to continue helping public housing residents participating in the Housing Choice Voucher Program and/or reside in public housing to increase their earned income and reduce their dependency on public assistance and rental subsidies.
These grants renew HUD's support of 688 public housing authorities through the Department's Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program. HUD's FSS program helps local public housing authorities hire service coordinators who work directly with residents to connect them with programs and services that already exist in the local community. The FSS program encourages innovative strategies that link housing assistance with a broad spectrum of services that will enable participating families to find jobs, 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.
FSS participants sign a five-year contract that requires the head of the household to obtain employment and that no member of the household will receive certain types of public assistance at the end of the five-year term. These families have an interest-bearing escrow account established for them. The amount credited to the family's escrow account is based on increases in the family's earned income during the term of the FSS contract. If the family successfully completes its FSS contract, the family receives the escrow funds that it can use for any purpose, including debt reduction to improve credit scores, educational expenses, or a down payment on a home.
Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) contributes to effective economic development in America's communities and regions through a locally-based, regionally-driven economic development planning process. Economic development planning - as implemented through the CEDS - is not only a cornerstone of the U.S. Economic Development Administration's (EDA) programs, but successfully serves as a means to engage community leaders, leverage the involvement of the private sector, and establish a strategic blueprint for regional collaboration. The CEDS provides the capacity-building1 foundation by which the public sector, working in conjunction with other economic actors (individuals, firms, industries), creates the environment for regional economic prosperity.
The first-ever National CEDS Forum will take place June 18 - 20, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio. This free event will bring together staff from Economic Development Districts, regional organizations, tribes, and federal agencies for a mix of training sessions, tours, and networking opportunities. Participants will learn about the latest best practices and resources available to support their Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) planning, development, and implementation. Session topics will focus on economic resilience and diversification; accessing and interpreting data; aligning the CEDS with other plans; outreach and engagement; federal funding opportunities; and more. Session planning is currently underway. Click here for a draft agenda and stay tuned to this page for updates.