The Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded more than $31 million in grants to public housing authorities, resident associations and non-profit organizations across the U.S. to help public housing residents connect to services available in the community to find employment to increase their economic independence.
The money will also link the elderly with supportive services that allow them to remain independent and age in place.
“We need to take a wider view of the needs of public housing residents beyond just housing if we’re to be true to the goal of promoting self sufficiency,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “The caseworkers that housing authorities can hire or keep on staff help thousands of public housing residents connect to opportunities to obtain jobs or increase their incomes that lead to self-sufficiency and improve quality of life.”
HUD’s Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency (ROSS) – Service Coordinators Programs work directly with residents to assess their needs to connect them with education, job training and placement programs and/or computer and financial literacy services available in their community to promote self-sufficiency. For an elderly or disabled resident, the service coordinator arranges supportive services that allow them to maintain their independent lifestyle.
The purpose of the ROSS Service Coordinator program is to provide funding to hire and maintain Service Coordinators who will assess the needs of residents of conventional Public Housing or Indian housing and coordinate available resources in the community to meet those needs.
“This program works to promote the development of local strategies to coordinate the use of assistance under the Public Housing program with public and private resources, for supportive services and resident empowerment activities. These services should enable participating families to increase earned income, reduce or eliminate the need for welfare assistance, make progress toward achieving economic independence and housing self-sufficiency, or, in the case of elderly or disabled residents, help improve living conditions and enable residents to age-in-place.”
Through HUD’s Elderly/Disabled Service Coordinator Program, the coordinators help obtain supportive services for the elderly and persons with disabilities residing in public housing. The program’s objective is to help this resident population continue to live in place, independently, without having to move to more expensive assisted care environments.