MaineHousing, 8 public housing authorities help residents achieve financial goals
MaineHousing and eight local public housing authorities statewide will share $439,537 in funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help low-income residents find higher-paying jobs and become self-sufficient through the Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS).
HUD Secretary Julian Castro announced late last week the awarding of $75 million in grants to Family Self-Sufficiency Programs nationwide. Maine’s program allocation supports public housing authorities that work to help residents increase their earning potential, improve their financial literacy, reduce or eliminate the need for welfare assistance, and make progress toward economic independence and self-sufficiency, according to HUD. The grants help public housing authorities hire service coordinators who work with residents to connect them to programs and services that already exist in their communities.
MaineHousing’s Family Self-Sufficiency Program coordinator recently created a Coordinating Committee that includes members who are working to secure commitments of public and private resources for the FSS program participants throughout Maine.
Committee members include representatives from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor including the Career Centers, the Department of Transportation, Caring Unlimited, New Ventures Maine, Women Unlimited, Western Maine Transportation, Central Maine Workforce Investment Board, FSS coordinators at local public housing authorities, and others.
Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) participants and public housing residents who take part in the Family Self-Sufficiency Program sign a five-year contract in which they agree to work on a plan to become independent. The residents strive to reach their education, financial literacy, and employment goals with guidance from an FSS coordinator, and start a savings account as a way to invest in their future.
The public housing authorities receiving grants are:
- MaineHousing: $54,031;
- Portland Housing Authority: $72,012;
- Lewiston Housing Authority: $57,820
- Bangor Housing Authority: $57,050
- Westbrook Housing Authority: $40,607
- Housing Authority of the City of Old Town: $23,972
- Housing Authority of the City of Brewer: $52,832
- City of Caribou: $48,729
- Augusta Housing Authority: $32,484
“These grants will make a meaningful impact in the lives of public housing residents and their families by providing a pathway towards self-sufficiency,” Secretary Castro said in a statement. “As the Department of Opportunity, HUD is empowering public housing residents to improve their circumstances with new economic and educational tools they need to compete and succeed in the workplace.”