By Nick Johnson
Published Sept. 25, 2012
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded South Carolina $557,496 in grants to help public and assisted housing residents obtain education and job training.
The money will allow local grantees to retain or hire 1,500 service coordinators to work directly with HUD-assisted families to connect them to job support services.
“This funding ultimately links individuals to childcare, computer access, job training and other basic skills individuals need to compete for jobs that pay a living wage,” HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said in a news release.
The funding includes $15 million through the Public Housing — Family Self-Sufficiency Program and $60 million through the Housing Choice Voucher — Family Self-Sufficiency Program.
Participants in both programs sign a five-year contract that requires the head of the household to find a job and no longer receive welfare assistance at the end of the contract.
As the family’s income rises, a portion of that increased income is deposited in an interest-bearing escrow account. If the family successfully completes the contract, the family receives the escrow funds that it can use for any purpose, including debt reduction, education or to start a business.
Both programs encourage efforts to link public housing and Housing Choice Voucher assistance with other resources, the news release said, with the goal of increasing employment and income.
“These grants are a win for both the grantee and South Carolina families who participate in HUD rental assistance programs,” said Ed Jennings, Atlanta regional administrator. “The grantee can keep or can hire an employee whose job is to help hundreds of individuals here find employment.”
S.C. housing authority
Charleston Housing Authority
Housing Choice Voucher program
Public Housing program