The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently awarded more than $2 million to the state of Illinois to help public housing agencies retain and hire service coordinators to work directly with families participating in HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher program. This comes from part of a $60 million national grant.
The main goal of these service coordinators will be to help Housing Choice Voucher Family Self-Sufficiency (HCV-FSS) recipients find employment, increase earning potential and put them on the path to self-sufficiency.
“This funding provides a hand up for families in Illinois to improve their situation and achieve success in their lives,” said Antonio R. Riley, HUD’s Midwest Regional Administrator.
The funds were divided into the 14 different areas as follows:
Chicago Housing Authority–$738,873
DuPage Housing Authority–$135,342
Housing Authority of Elgin–$67,327
Housing Authority of Joliet–$64,992
Housing Authority of the City of Bloomington–$51,782
Housing Authority of the City of East St. Louis–$69,000
Housing Authority of the County of Cook–$184,800
Housing Authority of the County of Lake–$153,561
Kankakee County Housing Authority–$43,280
Madison County Housing Authority–$69,000
Rock Island Housing Authority–$32,454
Rockford Housing Authority–$192,345
Springfield Housing Authority–$148,580
Winnebago County Housing Authority–$63,936
The total award for the state’s HCV comes out to $2,015,272. The HCV-FSS program funds public housing agencies looking for service coordinators to help connect adults in the program with welfare agencies, schools, businesses and other local partners to develop the skills and experience necessary to obtain jobs in order to support themselves in a self-sufficient way. HCV-FSS can also provide job training, childcare, transportation, and counseling in the areas of job placement and homeownership.
“In today’s economy, it’s never been more critical to help families obtain the skills that lead to jobs,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “With HUD’s help, these housing agencies will be able to assist families in finding employment, increasing their earning potential and putting them on a path to self sufficiency.”
HCV-FSS participants are required to sign a contract which promises that, after the five-year term, they will find a job and their family will no longer remain on welfare assistance. As the family income rises, a portion of this income is placed in an interest-accruing escrow account. At the end of the term, this account can be used to pay off debts, put a down-payment on a house, start a business, or pay educational expenses.
For more information on the award and HUD programs, visit http://www.hud.gov/