April 12, 1997 in Nation/World

Housing Projects Will Get Jobs Office

Compiled From Wire Services

The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Friday it would attempt to “change the culture” in the nation’s public housing developments by creating programs in seven cities to move unemployed housing project residents into the work force.

The initiative is the first formal welfare-to-work program run by the federal housing agency and is expected to cost $15 million over five years. Designed as a demonstration that could be replicated later elsewhere, the program will provide training and job placement services to able-bodied, working age welfare recipients living in about 2,000 public housing units across the country.

The project, known as Jobs-Plus, will be launched by September in Baltimore, Chattanooga, Cleveland, Dayton, Los Angeles, St. Paul and Seattle.

The program also will allow those housing authorities to waive rules that have traditionally raised rent when residents’ income increased, a policy that has long been seen as a disincentive to work.

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