Initiatives to strengthen a federal program called “Section 3” were recently announced by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Developments’ Secretary, Julian Castro. Section 3 is a program that directly provides jobs and training to low-income workers. It also provides businesses that participate in the program a greater chance to work on HUD-funded projects.
The initiatives proposed would increase opportunities for businesses that hire local public housing residents for HUD-funded projects. Additionally, they announced a new, National Section 3 Business Registry with a searchable online database for local housing authorities, government agencies, and contractors. The database will be used to assist firms and agencies to find companies that employ at least 30 percent low-income workers.
Miami was one of the five cities used in a pilot program designed to help local public agencies better locate businesses employing at least 30 percent low-income workers, in 2012. The success of the program is what led to HUD’s decision of making this a national program.
The program basically incentivizes small, local businesses to hire people receiving government assistance, and to provide reasonable training. If at least 30 percent of the people they employ fall into the specified category, the business is more likely to be considered for the development of a HUD project. More information on Section 3 can be found on the HUD website.
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