The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) new Section 3 Business Registry is a vital tool to promote jobs and contracting opportunities for AAPI businesses and the communities they serve. We invite you to enroll.
Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 requires that recipients of HUD financial assistance provide, to the greatest extent feasible, low-income residents with job training and employment, as well as contracting opportunities for the companies that hire them. Section 3 initiatives have dramatically expanded the job opportunities available to low-income persons and public housing residents.
We have initiated pilot programs of the registry in five metropolitan areas across the country (Washington, D.C., New Orleans, Miami, Detroit and Los Angeles) that will provide low-income AAPIs residing in public housing and Section 3 neighborhoods with a new resource to connect with businesses and contracting companies. We were especially pleased to be joined by Representative Judy Chu, Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, at the Los Angeles kick-off event.
Nearly 12.6% of AAPIs live below the poverty line (compared to the national average of 12.4%), with Southeast Asian populations facing significantly higher rates of poverty. These statistics show the dire need for federal programs that will improve the lives of low-income AAPIs and provide them with greater access to training and job opportunities. The recent launch of the Section 3 Business Registry will greatly benefit immigrants and refugees living in areas that receive HUD funding.
Since the start of the Obama Administration, HUD has increased Section 3 reporting by jurisdictions from 20% to 80%. These recipients of HUD funds reported last year that almost 50,000 jobs were created by HUD funding, almost half of which were held by Section 3 residents, and over half a billion dollars in contracts when to Section 3 businesses. And we are doing more. The Section 3 Business Registry is just one of many initiatives that have been created to improve the lives of low-income Americans.
The Section 3 Business Registry offers a widely-accessible online database that housing authorities, local government agencies, and contractors can use to identify firms that self-certify as Section 3 businesses and seek to hire low-income persons.
The registry is a win-win proposition for those seeking training and job opportunities as well as for businesses that hire them. The registry will identify companies that are hiring and offer businesses seeking Section 3 employees with greater visibility and access to potential employees and sub-contractors. In addition, the registry will maximize the impact of HUD investments on jobs and contracting opportunities and will greatly benefit the large proportion of AAPIs living in poverty.
The Section 3 Business Registry is now in place and needs your participation. To enroll or to obtain more information on HUD and the registry pilot programs, please visit www.hud.gov/Sec3biz.
John Trasviña serves as Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.