This past quarter, Lisa Pugliese, Buffalo Field Office Director, in partnership with the City of Schenectady, hosted three virtual Section 3 training sessions to discuss the final rule and best practices. The briefings were geared towards public housing authorities (PHAs), community leaders, and local businesses.
Section 3 requires that recipients of certain HUD funds make economic opportunities available for low- and very low-income individuals, especially recipients of government rental assistance who live in the areas where HUD funds are spent. HUD’s regulations implementing the requirements of Section 3 were updated in 2020. The final rule created more effective incentives for employers to retain and invest in their low and very low-income workers, streamlined reporting requirements by aligning them with typical business practices, provided program-specific oversight, and clarified the obligations of recipients of HUD funding.
Field Office Director Pugliese covered the changes to the Section 3 rule with a focus on key outcome metrics, such as the sustained employment of individuals in targeted populations and the requirement for PHAs to track and report labor hours instead of the number of new hires. The Opportunity Portal as well as the Section 3 Business Registry were also discussed. Ronnie Gardner, Director of Diversity and Affirmative Action for the City of Schenectady, presented on best practices of the City’s Section 3 program, including information on job training, employment, and contracting opportunities.