NEW JERSEY — U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson awarded more than $79 million to nearly 700 public housing authorities across the country. In New Jersey, HUD awarded over $1.925 million to 24 public housing authorities and local agencies; the Housing Authority of Plainfield will receive $69,000.
These funds will help residents of public housing and voucher-assisted housing increase their earned income and reduce their dependency on public assistance and rental subsidies. Read more about the local impact of the grants.
Funded through HUD's Family Self-Sufficiency Program(FSS), these grants enable public housing agencies (PHAs) to collaborate with social service agencies, community colleges, businesses, and other local partners to help participants further their education, gain marketable skills, and otherwise increase their income potential through new employment or by advancing in their current workplace.
“Helping people find jobs that will put them on the path to self-sufficiency is at the core of HUD’s mission,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “HUD is committed to working with our local partners to connect families with the opportunities and support they need to succeed at every level.”
“The FSS program is a data-proven vehicle that has helped thousands of HUD-assisted families achieve financial independence,” said Lynne Patton, HUD Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey. “I am thrilled that this Administration has dedicated $8 million to help advance low-income residents New York & New Jersey and ensure that they receive the guidance and resources necessary to usher them into a self-sufficient New Year!”
HUD's FSS Program funding helps local public housing authorities to hire Service Coordinators who work directly with residents to connect them with existing programs and services in the local community. These Service Coordinators build relationships with networks of local service providers, who provide direct assistance to FSS participants. The broad spectrum of services made possible through FSS enables 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.
Participants in the program sign a five-year contract requiring the head of the household to obtain employment. In addition, no member of the FSS family may have received cash welfare assistance for twelve months prior to program graduation. Families in the FSS program 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. FSS participants who successfully complete the requirements of their FSS contract receive the escrow funds upon completion and are able to apply those funds to advance their personal circumstances, including, for example, paying educational expenses or making a down-payment on a home.
For more information on the FSS program, see FSS Celebrates 25 Years! 25 Years of the Family Self-Sufficiency Program: Families Working, Families Prospering.