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The District of Columbia Housing Authority is dedicated to working with customers to assist them in their quest for greater self-sufficiency. One aspect of this work is providing employment and training opportunities with the agency’s contractors who work in areas such as solar panel installation, clerical work, and graphic design.

“Under my leadership, I stress the importance of DCHA employment and self-sufficiency programs. My team has increased participation and success rates by nearly 150 percent in the Section 3 employment program and a 70 percent increase in job training and professional development, creating new opportunities and bright futures for D.C. residents—especially for those east of the river,” said DCHA Executive Director Tyrone Garrett. “DCHA will continue to help low-income residents in the District to set their sights high and make their dreams come true.”

Some 57 percent of all new hires, or more than 150 new employees, at DCHA or its partners were low-income D.C. residents, almost half of whom were DCHA clients, in fiscal 2018, which ended on September 30, 2018. This was a nearly 150 percent increase since fiscal 2015. In addition, almost 60 percent of the Section 3 hires are from Wards 7 and 8.

“DCHA always encourages our customers to be successful and we have made changes to assist anyone on their own paths to self-sufficiency,” said Larry Williams, director of DCHA’s Office of Resident Services. “From revamping our Southwest Family Enhancement and Career Center, also known as our EnVision Center, to opening the Frederick Douglas Community Center, and increasing our Section 3 partnership opportunities, DCHA is always looking for ways to help our customers achieve their goals.”

Williams continued, “DCHA also created the Modified Apprenticeship Training Program this year, which hired and trained 60 DCHA customers to temporarily supplement our maintenance staff while giving them professional skills. Since then, about 20 have been hired into permanent positions either at DCHA or with partner organizations.”

Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968, commonly referred to as Section 3, requires that recipients of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds, to the greatest extent possible, provide job training, employment, and contract opportunities for low- or very-low income residents in connection with projects and activities in their neighborhoods being run by contractors or service providers. HUD sets goals in three categories—new hires that are Section 3, construction contracts that are subcontracted to Section 3 businesses, and non-construction contracts that are subcontracted to Section 3 businesses—that are indicators of whether agencies are meeting the program’s objectives to the greatest extent feasible. Because the program offers so many opportunities to its residents, DCHA places a heavy emphasis on the program and exceeded all three numerical goals in fiscal 2017 and 2018.

In addition to physical jobs, some of DCHA’s Section 3 contractors provide other economic opportunities to train and prepare residents for employment, such as running an entrepreneurship program, computer literacy trainings, or contributing to DCHA’s scholarship program. More than 170 residents were served with these types of programs in the past fiscal year, compared to 100 residents last fiscal year.

DCHA customers interested in learning more about Section 3 jobs or training can call the Southwest Family Enhancement and Career Center at (202) 645-5023.

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Last modified: 1/23/2019 12:25:44 PM