HUD proposes rule to put grant recipients on the "path of self-sufficiency"

by Candyd Mendoza04 Apr 2019

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has called for an update on its Section 3 Program, which assists low-income people and businesses.

Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 particularly calls for “employment, training, contracting, and other economic opportunities generated by certain HUD financial assistance to be directed to the greatest extent feasible to low- and very low-income persons, especially recipients of government assistance for housing, and to businesses that provide economic opportunities to low- and very low-income persons.”

However, the current guidelines have not been updated since 1994, and the department said that they were unsuccessful in achieving this goal.

HUD’s proposed revisions encouraged public housing officials and grant recipients to help low-income people build their careers. Ultimately, it aims to increase the long-term income of households that receive HUD assistance.

“HUD funding is more than an investment in affordable housing or community development; it’s an investment in people. The rule we are proposing today will allow more HUD-assisted households to secure long-term employment, and put them on a path towards self-sufficiency,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson.

According to HUD, the proposed rule will:

  • Focus on key outcome metrics, such as the sustained employment of targeted populations
  • Improve credit retention of low-income employees and successful sustained employment in the reporting metrics
  • Align Section 3 reporting with standard business practices and payroll tracking
  • Allow for tailored outcome benchmarks for different geographies and/or different activities
  • Reduce reporting requirements for grantees who are meeting outcome benchmarks
  • Integrate Section 3 into the program offices that are in regular contact with the grantees