PROVIDENCE, RI – U.S. Senator Jack Reed today announced $986,705 in federal grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to assist ten Rhode Island communities in deploying local strategies to help assisted housing residents find work, access job training resources, and achieve economic independence.

The funding, made available through HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program, will allow local public housing agencies to work with social service agencies, community colleges, businesses, and other local partners to help public housing residents and individuals participating in HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program increase their education or gain marketable skills that will enable them to obtain employment or advance professionally.  Congress combined the Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher FSS programs to enhance opportunities for residents and better connect them with the services they need, a streamlining effort made possible by legislation authored by Senator Reed.  Reed is the Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD), which oversees federal spending for HUD programs.

The ultimate goal of the FSS program is to provide families with greater opportunities to develop the skills and experience necessary to obtain employment and increase their earnings. This is made possible through FSS Coordinators, who work as a conduit between Public Housing Authorities (PHAs), local partners, such as employers and service providers, and the families they serve.  In addition to the ten Rhode Island communities set to receive funding from HUD, Rhode Island Housing will receive $183,618 in grant money to benefit other Rhode Island FSS participants.

“Every American deserves the opportunity to succeed.  The Family Self-Sufficiency Program is about helping individuals set goals and providing them with the necessary support to achieve them.  This federal funding will help individuals living in assisted housing learn marketable skills, improve their job prospects, and set them on a path towards greater economic independence and self-sufficiency.  The program provides a roadmap to stability and links them to critical support services to get there, like help with education, job‎ training, or child care so individuals can support their families,” said Reed, who authored the bipartisan Family Self-Sufficiency Act.

Reed’s bipartisan bill, cosponsored by Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), further enhances the FSS program by streamlining the administration of this program, broadening the range of supportive services that can be provided to a resident, and extending the reach of the FSS program.  The legislation is set to be reintroduced in the new year.

The recipients of the HUD Public Housing Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program awards announced today include:

Central Falls Housing Authority: $63,456

Town of Coventry Housing Authority: $51,571

Town of Cumberland Housing Authority: $67,326

Housing Authority of the Town of East Greenwich: $69,000

East Providence Housing Authority: $58,970

Narragansett Housing Authority: $69,000

Town of North Providence Housing Authority: $20,020

Housing Authority of the City of Pawtucket: $138,000

Rhode Island Housing: $183,618

The Housing Authority of the City of Providence: $196,744

Warwick Housing Authority: $69,000