RAHWAY, NJ — On April 6, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that the Housing Authority of the City of Rahway had been awarded a Resident Opportunities and Self-Sufficiency (ROSS) Service Coordinator grant totaling $239,250. Rahway was one of six housing authorities or non-profits in New Jersey to receive such a grant. This year, HUD allocated ROSS grants totaling $1.67 million throughout the state and $36.9 across the nation.
According to HUD, the current ROSS grants can be used to hire or retain service coordinators "to assist public and Native American housing families meet their professional, financial, health, and educational goals."
HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge said, "We are excited to work with our local housing partners to help public housing residents find jobs and opportunities that will propel them forward. The funding announced today will help residents reach their goals and dreams tomorrow.”
The ROSS grant is a response to the Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act (the Public Housing Reform Act), passed by Congress in 1998. It is a place-based program whose objective is to help public housing residents seek and secure jobs, find and retain housing, and foster economic independence.
The responsibilities of the service coordinator position, specifically, are to work with residents to achieve their educational, financial, and employment objectives through a variety of means, making them aware of and connecting them with resources in both the public and private sectors. Ultimately, the goal is increased economic and housing self-sufficiency.
As HUD put it, "Service Coordinators provide a critical service to residents by helping to remove barriers that can stand in the way of progress. They also work with seniors and people with disabilities to ensure they receive the medical care and social supports required to age and remain in place, thereby avoiding costlier forms of care."
In Rahway, the expectation, of course, is that the ROSS grant can contribute to the city's ongoing efforts to provide services to its many public housing residents, senior citizens, and others in need who qualify.