WASHINGTON, D.C. -

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded Michigan more than $2.4 million in grants to help public and assisted housing residents connect with local services to obtain education and training to find jobs.

The funding will allow local organizations to retain or hire 1,500 service coordinators to work directly with HUD-assisted families to connect them to the supportive services that meet their individual needs to become gainfully employed.

"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," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “To continue to grow America’s economy, we must see to it that every American has the skills and resources they need to become gainfully employed.”

The service coordinators, retained or hired through both of these programs, work directly with residents to connect them with local organizations that provide education and job training and placement opportunities; as well as childcare, counseling, transportation and computer and financial literacy services available in their community.  

Both programs encourage innovative strategies that link public housing and Housing Choice Voucher assistance with other resources to enable participating families to find employment; increase earned income; reduce or eliminate the need for rental and/or welfare assistance; and make progress toward achieving economic independence and housing self-sufficiency.

Participants in both programs sign a five-year contract that requires the head of the household to obtain employment and no longer receive welfare assistance at the end of the five-year term. 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 its FSS contract, the family receives the escrow funds that it can use for any purpose, including paying educational expenses, starting a business or paying debts. 

"These grants are a win for both the grantees and Michigan families who participate in HUD rental assistance programs,” said HUD’s Midwest Regional Administrator, Antonio R. Riley. “The grantee can keep or can hire an employee whose job is to help hundreds of individuals here find employment.”