HUD awards grant for Beaumont Family Self Sufficiency Program

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From the Beaumont Housing Authority  - The U.S. Department of Housing Urban Development announced the award of an $81,723 grant to the Beaumont Housing Authority to continue their highly successful Family Self Sufficiency Program. 

This grant will allow BHA to retain service coordinators who work directly with residents in the Public Housing and Section 8 programs to connect them with a comprehensive array of services that help the family move towards self sufficiency.  The coordinators work with social service agencies, colleges, businesses and other local partners to help residents increase their education or to gain marketable skills that will enable them to obtain or improve employment.

“These grants will link people to the computer access, financial literacy, job training, childcare and other tools they need to compete and succeed in the workplace,” said Julian Castro, HUD Secretary.  “Every American deserves access to the skills and resources necessary to become self-sufficient.”

Participants in the program sign a five year contract that requires the head of 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 escrow account.   When the family successfully completes their contract, the family receives the escrow funds that can be used for any purpose, including paying educational expenses, starting a business or purchasing a home.

In the ten years that BHA has operated the program, 94 families have successfully graduated. These graduates have earned over $285,983 in escrow savings, an average of $3,042 per family. BHA currently has 90 families participating in the program which is networked to over 50 local social and supportive service partners.

“This grant will have a tremendous impact not just on the families in our programs – it will also infuse the City of Beaumont with newly educated and trained job seekers as well as help families move out of federally assisted housing programs into unassisted homeownership”, said Executive Director Robert L. Reyna.