The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently announced an award of almost $100 million to the promotion of employment, self-sufficiency, and independent living for HUD-dependent families and individuals.
“Providing housing assistance alone is often not enough to help individuals increase their independence,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “The service coordinators funded through these programs open doors that help HUD-assisted families find jobs, access services and assist the elderly and disabled to continue living as independently as possible in their homes.”
The new funding was divided among three HUD programs. Approximately $15 million was given to the Public Housing–Family Self-Sufficiency Program (PH-FSS), about $35 million was given to the Resident Opportunities and Self-Sufficiency–Service Coordinators Program (ROSS-SC), and about $45 million was awarded to the Multifamily Housing Service Coordinator Program (MHSC).
For the state of Illinois alone, the amount of funding from PH-FSS and ROSS-SC programs comes out to $986,030 for HUD-assisted residents. The amount for MHSC program comes to $5,340,239.
The PH-FSS, which is only available to public housing authorities, allows grantees to hire or retain service coordinators to connect residents to education, job training, and placement programs. The PH-FSS also funds computer and/or financial literacy services to promote self-sufficiency for residents. The purpose of this program is to reduce or eliminate the need for welfare assistance as much as possible. Studies from 2005 to 2009 show that the financial benefits for residents who stay with the program are substantial.
The ROSS-SC Program works in a similar way to the PH-FSS; however, ROSS-SC grants can be awarded to public housing authorities, resident associations, and non-profit organizations. ROSS-SC grants strive to assist elderly and disabled people in maintaining independent lifestyles.
The MHSC Program provides funding to owners of private housing developments who are under HUD contract to house low-income individuals. Service coordinators can be hired to assist elderly and disabled residents.
HUD released a report in 2009 which claimed that aging in place, for low-income, elderly residents, reduces rates of premature-institutionalization; this reduces the amount that tax-payers are asked to pay for such institutions.
More information on HUD, its programs, and recent awards can be found at http://www.hud.gov.