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As part of its ongoing push to help people living in public housing become more “self-sufficient,” the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Friday that it is awarding $29 million to help public housing residents find educational opportunities and employment.

HUD said Friday that it is granting the money to a series of public housing agencies and nonprofit organizations as part of its Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency – Service Coordinators Program, which helps public housing authorities, resident associations, nonprofit organizations, Indian tribes or entities representing Indian tribes hire or retain “service coordinators.”

Service coordinators work directly with public housing residents to connect them with education, job training and placement programs, and/or computer and financial literacy services that are available in their community.

According to HUD, the purpose of the program is to “encourage local, innovative strategies that link public housing assistance with public and private resources to enable participating families to increase earned income; reduce or eliminate the need for welfare assistance; and make progress toward achieving economic independence and housing self-sufficiency.”

HUD Secretary Ben Carson said that the grants will help people improve their lives and exit public housing, which has been a focus on the Trump administration, including proposing to raise the rents on many in public housing as a means to promote self-sufficiency.

“Providing families who live in public housing the opportunity to invest in themselves is a win-win as it helps them to gain economic and housing independence,” Carson said. “Today, we’re investing in our residents, offering them the tools they need to build a brighter future for themselves and their children.”

Click here to see the full list of organizations that are receiving HUD funding.

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