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Lee Jones
(877) 741-3281, Ext. 5356
www.hud.gov/washington
For Release
Friday
January 2, 2009

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HUD AWARDS $1.4 MILLION TO WASHINGTON HOUSING AUTHORITIES TO HELP LOW-INCOME FAMILIES GET JOB TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT
Housing Authorities Serving Seattle, Tacoma, Bremerton, Everett, Kelso, Longview, Vancouver, Wenatchee and King, Clallam, Island Jefferson, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish and Thurston Counties Win Grants

WASHINGTON - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Steve Preston today announced that 16 Washington state public housing agencies have been awarded $1,379,000 to help low-income housing authority residents become economically self-sufficient.

Today's awards were part of a national announcement of $49 million in grants to authorities in 48 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico to provide low-income people with the necessary job training to put them on a path toward self-sufficiency.

Funded through HUD's Housing Choice Voucher Family Self-Sufficiency Program (HCV/FSS), the grants allow public housing agencies (PHAs) to work with welfare agencies, schools, businesses, and other local partners to develop a comprehensive program to help participating individuals develop the skills and experience to enable them to obtain jobs that pay a living wage.

"This program has proven its effectiveness in helping families develop the skills that lead to stable employment," said Preston. "Getting a decent job and increasing a person's potential for higher paying employment is the first step to becoming economically independent."

The Washington housing authorities winning Housing Choice Voucher Family Self Sufficiency are:

Washington  
Seattle Housing Authority $293,447
King County Housing Authority $129,818
Housing Authority of the City of Bremerton $42,833
Housing Authority of the County of Clallam $92,314
Housing Authority of the City of Tacoma $64,909
Housing Authority of the City of Everett $144,018
City of Longview Housing Authority $79,065
Housing Authority City of Kelso $23,072
Housing Authority of Island County $47,315
Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority $50,627
Housing Authority of Snohomish County $19,318
Housing Authority of Thurston County $129,818
Pierce County Housing Authority $129,816
Housing Authority of Chelan County and the City of Wenatchee $31,848
Housing Authority of Jefferson County $37,836
Housing Authority of the City of Vancouver $62,955
State Totals: $1,379,009

PHAs use the funding to hire family self-sufficiency coordinators to link adults in the Housing Choice Voucher program (formerly Section 8) to local organizations that provide job training, childcare, counseling, transportation and job placement. PHAs can also hire homeownership coordinators to help families get homeownership counseling.

Participants in the HCV/FSS program sign a contract that stipulates the head of the household will get a job and the family will no longer receive welfare assistance at the end of the five-year term. As the 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 a down payment on a home, paying educational expenses, starting a business or paying back debts.

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HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.

 
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