The DC Housing Authority announced today that it has received a $276,000 grant from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development to link low-income families with the necessary education and job training to put them on the path to self-sufficiency.  

Funded through HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) Family Self-Sufficiency Program, the grant will allow DCHA to expand its work with welfare agencies, schools, businesses, and other local partners that help individuals already participating in HCVP increase their education or gain marketable skills that will enable them to obtain jobs that pay a living wage, according to DCHA Executive Director Adrianne Todman. 

“This program is absolutely critical in today’s economy,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “The research demonstrates that this program works.  When families are given the tools they need to move beyond the voucher program, they do.  Ultimately, they become self-sufficient and more vouchers become available for other families, some who have been waiting for long periods to receive housing assistance.” 

“We currently have 151 families in the FSS program,” Todman added.  “We have many success stories where heads of household for families in subsidized housing use this program to become homeowners.  Others have received valuable job skills and have been placed in jobs.  This program is an important link in our workforce development process.”  

The funding allows local housing authorities to hire caseworkers or coordinators to link adults to local organizations that provide job training, childcare, counseling, transportation and job placement.  Participants sign a contract that requires the head of the household to get a job, and the family will no longer receive welfare assistance at the end of the five-year term. 

As an FSS family’s income rises, a portion of that increased income is deposited in an interest-bearing escrow account. If the family completes its FSS contract, the family receives the escrow funds that it can use for any purpose, including paying educational expenses, paying back debts or as a down payment to purchase a home.

Last modified: 4/1/2011 9:10:18 AM