The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded Vermont $336,683 to help public housing agencies to retain or hire service coordinators to work directly with families who participate in HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher program. The coordinators will assist these voucher recipients to find employment resources and job training opportunities to put them on a path toward self-sufficiency. ‘In today’s economy, it’s never been more critical to help families obtain the skills that lead to jobs,’ said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. ‘With HUD’s help, these housing agencies will be able to assist families in finding employment, increasing their earning potential and putting them on a path to self sufficiency.’ VermontBurlington Housing AuthorityVT001$101,685 Vermont State Housing AuthorityVT901$234,998 Vermont Total $336,683HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Family Self-Sufficiency Program (HCV/FSS) supports public housing agencies (PHAs) to retain or hire family self-sufficiency coordinators. These coordinators in turn link adults in the HCV program with welfare agencies, schools, businesses and other local partners to develop the skills and experience to enable them to obtain jobs that pay a living wage. The local organizations typically provide participating individuals job training, childcare, counseling, transportation, job placement and homeownership counseling.Participants in the HCV-FSS program sign a contract that requires the head of the household will get a job and the family will 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 completes its FSS contract, the family receives the escrow funds that it can use for any purpose, including a down payment on a home, paying educational expenses, starting a business or paying back debts. HUD’s Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) Program is a long-standing resource for increasing economic security and self-sufficiency among participants. HUD issued a new report earlier this yearthat evaluated the effectiveness of the FSS Program. Conducted from 2005 to 2009, the study shows the financial benefits are substantial for participants who complete the program. This study is the second of a three-part series by HUD that evaluate the effects of the FSS program. The first study found individuals who participated in the FSS program fared better financially than those who did not enroll in the program. HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) will launch the third and final installment to complete the series this year. See national impact of HUD’s grant funding here. HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov(link is external) and http://espanol.hud.gov(link is external). You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD(link is external), or sign up for news alerts on HUD’s News Listserv.