New Funding Announced for Resident Job Training, Education
HUD is offering $35 million to public housing authorities to develop facilities that will provide early childhood and adult education, and/or job training programs for public housing residents.
The new Capital Fund Education and Training Community Facilities Program (CFCF) is being promoted as an additional effort by the Obama administration to link affordable housing with education reform and early childhood education. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said the new program will provide public housing authorities with the necessary resources to give their residents various educational and enrichment opportunities.
Housing authorities have until Jan. 14, 2011, to apply for CFCF funding to construct new facilities, rehabilitate existing structures, or purchase facilities that will provide early childhood and adult education, and/or job training programs for public housing residents based on an identified need.
The funding also can be used to revitalize an existing community center that will offer “comprehensive integrated services” to help public housing residents achieve “better educational and economic outcomes resulting in long-term economic self-sufficiency.” While use of the facility is primarily for public housing residents, families in the community may utilize and benefit from the new centers and their resources.
The maximum grant award is $5 million. The size of the grant will be determined by a per-square-foot construction formula. The size of the facility must relate to the intended purpose and the number of persons served.
Applicants must “leverage—or have financial commitments of—at least 5 percent of the grant amount and identify at least one education or training supportive service provider, such as a community college, that will partner with the housing authority to provide the services required. Agencies that are awarded funding are given four years to have an operating facility.
Applicants Should Address Six HUD Priorities
HUD has indicated that grant applicants who demonstrate a commitment to the agency's “cross-cutting policy priorities” may be awarded additional points. The six priorities are:
Creating jobs. Activities sustain economic development in low-income communities and job creation opportunities for low-income residents of HUD-assisted housing beyond the length of the program.
Promoting sustainability. Activities actively promote sustainability through energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, healthy design, including elements of universal design. For applicable projects, regional- or metropolitan-level strategies are employed to increase location efficiency and disaster resiliency.
Affirmatively furthering fair housing. Activities promote fair housing, actively preventing discrimination because of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, disability, or familial status. Activities will reduce racial segregation and concentration of poverty, employing regional- or metropolitan-level strategies, when applicable.
Building capacity and sharing knowledge. Activities strengthen the capacity of state and local government and nonprofit partners to implement HUD programs, coordinate on cross-programmatic, place-based approaches, and encourage ongoing communication.
Using housing as a platform for improving other outcomes. Programs thoroughly connect HUD assistance to other federal agency programs and benefits in efforts to improve outcomes such as the health, education, safety, and/or economic outcomes of target populations.
Expanding cross-cutting policy knowledge. Data-tracking efforts integrate housing and community development data with data about outcomes such as health, education, safety, self-sufficiency, transportation, and sustainability. Beyond measuring program impacts, analysis of the activities will add to the existing body of policy knowledge through collaboration with other public agencies and/or universities.
CFCF is being funded though a special set-aside from HUD's Capital Fund Program. Both the Choice Neighborhoods (CN) and HOPE VI Revitalization Programs, which are currently taking applications, make providing early childhood educational opportunities a priority. The CN initiative aligns quality educational opportunities with community development resources for long-term, economically viable neighborhood transformation. Now in its pilot year, the competitive program will award up to $65 million to public housing authorities, local governments, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit developers that apply jointly with a public entity to extend neighborhood transformation efforts beyond public and/or assisted housing, to link housing revitalization with education reform and early childhood education. CN builds on the success of the HOPE VI Revitalization Program that has for nearly 20 years transformed neighborhoods with distressed public housing into revitalized mixed-income communities.
For more information about the new CFCF grants, visit www.hud.gov/offices/adm/grants/nofa10/grpcfcf.cfm. Questions may be emailed to PIHOCI@hud.gov or directed to the NOFA Information Center at 800-HUD-8929.