WASHINGTON, DC –U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) today announced that several communities throughout the state will receive $138,735 in federal funding to help more Rhode Islanders develop job skills and achieve economic independence. 

This federal funding, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program, will enable local housing authorities in Coventry, East Greenwich, East Providence, North Providence, and Warwick to help low-income Rhode Islanders get the education and job training they need to successfully enter the workforce.  According to HUD, this money may be used to hire program coordinators (or caseworkers) to link adults in the Housing Choice Voucher program to local organizations that provide job training, childcare, counseling, transportation and job placement services.

“I am pleased these communities are receiving additional federal funding to help more Rhode Islanders in need get job-training and work towards greater financial independence,” said Reed, a member of the Banking Committee, which oversees federal housing policy.  “The work these program coordinators do is invaluable.  The educational, employment, and life-training skills they provide will help more Rhode Islanders live independently.”

Participants in the FSS program sign a contract that requires the head of the household to 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 paying educational expenses, starting a business, or paying back debts.

This second round of funding for Rhode Island comes on top of about $580,000 the state received earlier this year for programs run by housing authorities in Central Falls, Cumberland, East Greenwich, East Providence, Narragansett, North Providence, Pawtucket, Providence, as well as Rhode Island Housing.  This brings Rhode Island’s total funding for this program to about $718,000 this year.

Local housing authorities in the following communities received funding today:

East Providence: $24,470

East Greenwich: $25,645

Coventry: $51,571

North Providence: $21,020    

Warwick: $15,529

TOTAL: $138,735