Last year HUD invested more than $434 million into the Washington, DC metropolitan area to improve housing and community development, and about 15% of this money was awarded to local businesses that hire low-income residents. That’s good because local and state agencies receiving HUD funds are required to ensure that jobs and contracts reach public housing residents and low-income workers to the maximum extent possible.
Now HUD and its partners have a new platform to achieve this goal of expanding jobs and housing opportunities for all: a new business registry under HUD’s Section 3, a growing program that’s connecting housing to jobs.
HUD was joined by DC Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and a representative from Mayor Vincent Gray’s Administration, plus national leaders, this week to announce the Section 3 Business Registry in Washington, DC. The DC pilot program will encourage companies in DC and surrounding suburbs to register their company at www.hud.gov/Sec3Biz
Once the companies register and certify they are hiring low-income or public housing residents, they become part of a database that HUD grantees, such as housing agencies, can contact when it comes time to offer contracts to build, develop or renovate housing and other infrastructure projects. The Section 3 Business Registry also lets local low-income and public housing residents search for companies that may be hiring, thereby allowing them to be part of the development in their own communities instead of just watching on the sidelines. With unemployment at 10.6 % in the District, this is a particularly timely tool for local residents.
Participation is key to the success of the Business Registry. HUD encourages all companies doing business in the Washington, D.C. area to learn more about Section 3 and to register if they meet Section 3 criteria. For more information, please visit our website at www.hud.gov/sec3biz .