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HUD Increases Efforts to Connect Low-Income Workers with Job Opportunities and Businesses with Contracting Opportunities

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Every year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds create thousands of jobs nationwide that range from construction to professional services. The federal program known as “Section 3” directs jobs and training to low-income workers and connects businesses that hire them with HUD-funded contracts. 

Section 3 is a provision of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 that helps foster local economic development, neighborhood improvement, and individual self-sufficiency.  Section 3 mandates that local low-income persons, and businesses that substantially employ those persons, receive priority consideration for a percentage of new training, employment, and contracting opportunities that are created from certain HUD funds. 

Earlier this year, HUD announced changes to strengthen the Section 3 program. The initiative would increase opportunities for businesses that hire local public housing residents for HUD funded projects. Additionally, HUD launched the National Section 3 Business Registry. The Section 3 Business Registry is an online database of businesses that have self-certified that they meet the Section 3 business eligibility criteria. 

The Section 3 Business Registry is for use by Public Housing Authorities; State, County and local government agencies; property owners; developers; contractors; and others as a resource for finding local Section 3 businesses to be notified about HUD-funded contracting opportunities.  Section 3 residents are also encouraged to use the registry to locate new job opportunities that are created by HUD-funded contracts. 

Section 3 residents are defined as public housing residents or low and very low-income persons who live in the metropolitan area where covered HUD funding is spent. 

Businesses can qualify as Section 3 eligible if: 1) they are 51 percent or more owned by Section 3 residents; or 2) at least 30 percent of full-time, permanent staff are Section 3 residents (or were Section 3 residents within the last 3 years); or 3) they commit to subcontract 25 percent or more of the total dollar amount of all subcontracts to businesses that meet one of the criteria listed above. 

To register your business, search the database of local self-certified Section 3 businesses, or to learn more about HUD’s National Section 3 Business Registry, please visit www.hud.gov/sec3biz.