When the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District (HABD) made the decision to demolish the old Loveman Village public housing community, and both rebuild onsite, as well as use offsite development to reduce unit density, they also made a commitment to make the maximum effort to train and employ residents of the community under HUD’s Section 3 program. It is an effort that HABD is proud of. So, when HUD Southeast Regional Administrator Denise Cleveland-Leggett chose to include HABD in her recent listening tour visit to the Birmingham area, they knew right away that their new development on Sidney Drive was one of the places they wanted her to see.
The Sidney Drive development will be a 120-unit family property, with 1, 2 and 3-bedroom units; amenities included are central heat and air, energy efficient appliances, and a beautifully landscaped setting. The development also includes a clubhouse style community center and a gymnasium.
One of the first things you notice when you enter the Sidney Drive property under development is a sign on the construction trailer announcing that Sidney Drive is a Section 3 project and giving contractors and job applicants information on what that means. For sub-contractors that means they must make a commitment to try and hire residents for training positions in the development. In fact, each sub-contractor is given an information sheet on Section 3 hiring requirements that includes information on the temporary employment agency that is screening residents for eligibility to work on the project.
In describing his company’s commitment to complying with Section 3 expectations for this development, Project Manager Wen Yerby said indicated “We have held meetings with the residents to inform them of the job and job training opportunities available; we have contracted with a temporary employment agency to manage the job application process for residents; we are interviewing residents suggested by HABD for a Construction Management Intern position that will actually train them for what could me a full time management position with our company; and we are working with HABD to find ways to increase resident participation on this project.” Thus far the developer’s efforts have resulted in three full time hires, and 15 temporary employee hires. Regional Administrator Cleveland-Leggett commended the efforts, noting that in Sidney Drive, HABD is implementing what Secretary Carson envisions for the Section 3 program.