U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Jobs Plus Pilot Program
The Jobs Plus Pilot Program for Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) seeks to develop locally-based approaches to increase earnings and advance employment outcomes for public housing residents. The Program will fund initiatives to improve employment and earnings outcomes for public housing residents through supports such as work readiness, employer linkages, job placement, educational advancement, technology skills, and financial literacy.
The place-based Jobs Plus Pilot program addresses poverty among public housing residents by incentivizing and enabling employment through earned income disregards for working families, and a set of services designed to support work including employer linkages, job placement and counseling, educational advancement, and financial counseling. Ideally, these incentives will saturate the target developments, building a culture of work and making working families the norm. The Jobs Plus Pilot program consists of the following three core components:
- Employment-Related Services: Applicants must partner with the Department of Labor Workforce Investment Board (WIB) and American Job Center (AJC)/One-Stop in their area to offer multiple employment-related services for residents with a range of employment needs. Local Labor Market Information (LMI) should be used both for initial planning and analysis of which employment opportunities are most available locally, as well as for monitoring ongoing trends.
- Financial Incentives – Jobs Plus Earned Income Disregard (JPEID): Applicants must implement a financial incentive to program participants, known as the Jobs Plus Earned Income Disregard (JPEID). This component will neutralize any rent increase due to rising income for Jobs Plus participants, removing a major disincentive to employment. Rent incentives offered through JPEID will be reimbursed to the PHA via Jobs Plus appropriations, and should be included in the program budget.
- Community Supports for Work: Applicants will incorporate a robust engagement strategy for involving the residents in the targeted development and creating a working community. Program outreach should be directed towards residents at all points along the employment spectrum – from unemployed individuals with no work history to working underemployed families with substantial work history. One key strategy for retention should include the use of residents as Community Coaches.
The comprehensive nature of the Jobs Plus Pilot model requires that PHAs establish partnerships that will strengthen program planning and implementation, as well as streamline access to services for participants. Partners should include: Workforce Investment Boards/American Job Centers; local welfare agencies; employment and training organizations; vocational training providers; community colleges and four-year educational institutions; and other supportive service agencies providing either direct services or referrals to services that are critical for supporting successful employment.
Amount: A total of approximately $24,000,000 is expected to fund eight awardees. Awards range from $1,000,000 to $3,000,000. The grant term is four years. A match contribution (cash or in-kind) equivalent to 25% of the total grant amount requested is required. Commitments beyond 25% will be considered leverage.
Eligibility: PHAs that operate one or more public housing developments (as designated for asset management purposes) may be eligible. A list of developments that meet the criteria is provided in Appendix B of the solicitation. Criteria for eligible developments include:
- Size: Minimum development size of 200 non-elderly-only households. Non-elderly-only means
households where at least one resident is under age 65.
- Unemployment: At least 50 percent of the households (excluding elderly-only households) contain
no member showing earned income in PIC.
- Place: Because Jobs Plus is a place-based program, units to be served must be contiguous unless good cause can be shown that the program will be successful in non-contiguous developments. A description as to how the program will be run from one central location and remain accessible to all residents of non-contiguous developments will be required in the rating factors. This requirement may disqualify developments on the Eligible Development list if the Asset Management Project (AMP) is for scattered sites.
- Developments that belong to PHAs that are considered troubled in PHAS or are on the PHARS list or that are in receivership are not eligible to participate.
PHAs may propose to combine two or more developments to meet the criteria for eligible developments, subject to the following conditions:
- Parts of developments cannot be combined. Only entire developments may be combined.
- The combined developments must meet the criteria for size (see above).
- The combined developments must meet the criteria for unemployment (see above).
PHAs that have developments not listed on Appendix B that they believe, when combined, meet the criteria, may submit a request for review of eligibility. PHAs that received a Jobs Plus Pilot Program grant in 2014 are not eligible for 2015 grant funds.
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