Anthony Kennedy, a low-income worker from Mississippi, changed his life trajectory for the better when he joined a little-known program called Section 3. As a resident of an area receiving HUD funding, he was an ideal candidate to find job opportunities and enhance his skills and income prospects.
Kennedy shared his story with 400 attendees who participated in a Southeast virtual training held this week to increase awareness of HUD’s Section 3 requirements, and Small Business Administration’s (SBA) available programs and tools that can benefit small and minority owned companies; through counseling, capital, and contracting.
The Section 3 program requires that recipients of HUD financial assistance, to the greatest extent possible, provide training, employment, contracting and other economic opportunities to low- and very low-income persons, especially recipients of government assistance for housing, and to businesses that provide economic opportunities to low- and very low-income persons.
HUD Southeast Deputy Regional Administrator Michael Browder welcomed the audience and highlighted the opportunities that funding from the American Rescue Plan will bring to low-income residents and minority businesses. SBA’s Southeast Acting Regional Administrator Janita R. Stewart and SBA Tennessee District Director Latanya Channel provided an all-encompassing discussion on how businesses can utilize SBA programs.
Designed for businesses, HUD grantees and residents of HUD subsidized properties, the training also included a presentation on Section 3 compliance and best practices by Ray Robinson, Compliance Bureau Manager for the Community Services Division of Mississippi Development Authority (MDA). MDA administers the State’s Community Development Block Grant Program. Senior Management Analyst for the Mississippi HUD Office Ziva James offered an overview of the Section 3 Business Registry and the Opportunity Portal.
HUD Mississippi Field Office Director Jerrie G. Magruder; Efrain Maldonado, San Juan, Puerto Rico/USVI Field Office Director; and Kristine Foye, Columbia, South Carolina Field Office Director organized the training with the support of the remaining Southeast field office directors and staff.