Tampa Housing Authority receives $351,282.00 To Promote Family Self-Sufficiency
TAMPA (January 8, 2014) --- Last month the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it was awarding nearly $57 million dollars in grant money to help aid residents receiving housing assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher Program. This funding will actively help support coordinators, whose objectives are to assist families with finding employment, gaining access to education and receiving competitive job training. With more than 100 housing authorities located within the state of Florida, the Tampa Housing Authority has been awarded $351,282.00; making its grant the largest in the state and the 10th largest in the country.
This grant allows the agency’s coordinators to link clients with local organizations that provide job placement/educational opportunities, childcare assistance, counseling, transportation, computer and financial literacy services. Ultimately, families that find employment will increase their overall earned income, thereby reducing or eliminating the need for rental and/or welfare assistance.
“This is a modest investment that can make a world of difference for families looking to find their path to self-sufficiency,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “As America’s economy continues to recover, it’s critical that we work to make sure every American has the skills and resources they need to successfully compete for jobs in the 21st Century.”
Participating families sign a five-year Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) contract that requires the head of household to obtain and maintain employment and no longer receive welfare assistance for the entire five-year term. As the family’s income increases a portion of the income will be deposited in an interest bearing escrow account. Upon completion of the five-year term; the family receives the escrow funds to use for any purpose deemed appropriate by the family. Tampa Housing Authority has had more than 25 graduates of this program with escrows averaging $13-20,000.
“We are extremely proud to receive this award from HUD,” says Jerome D. Ryans, President and CEO of the Tampa Housing Authority. “We are now able to assist more residents and help them become viable members of our community. We understand how important it is for our families to be self- sufficient and by providing these resources, we are preparing them for successful futures.”
The Housing Authority of the City of Tampa promotes the development and professional management of a variety of affordable housing opportunities, facilities and supportive services that nurture neighborhoods, provides economic development and self-sufficiency activities to residents assuring equal access to safe, quality housing for low and moderate income families throughout the community.
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