FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 26, 2017
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NEW JOBS PLUS CENTER CREATES CAREER OPPORTUNITIES AND FINANCIAL STABILITY FOR PUBLIC HOUSING RESIDENTS
Located at Penn-Wortman Houses, the Jobs Plus Center is the first federally funded site in New York City.
The Jobs Plus center will serve hundreds of public housing residents, offering career and financial opportunities.
NEW YORK–– Today, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Administrator (HUD) Lynne Patton hosted a ribbon cutting to open the first New York City HUD funded Jobs Plus center. The new center will serve residents who live at NYCHA’s Pennsylvania Avenue-Wortman Avenue Houses.
“Jobs Plus is a powerful pathway to success and is transforming residents’ lives every day,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. “By combining stable, long-term affordable housing with thoughtful services, we are strengthening public housing and empowering the 1 in 14 New Yorkers who call NYCHA home.”
“The Jobs Plus model proves that with the right combination of support and opportunity, public housing residents can move toward economic self-sufficiency, said Lynne Patton, HUD Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey. “I commend NYCHA for their national leadership in piloting and expanding a program that has placed nearly 7,000 residents in jobs that will increase their financial independence.”
Jobs Plus is a nationally-recognized evidence-based program designed to raise and sustain the level of employment and earnings among residents of public housing developments. Rigorously evaluated by HUD and MDRC, a nationally recognized social research firm, the program is proven to increase public housing residents’ earnings by an average of 16 percent over a seven-year period.
The program saturates one or a cluster of public housing developments and has three main components:
Employment and career development services for residents with varying skillsets and levels of job-readiness.
Financial counseling, asset-building services and HUD rent incentives that promote work and savings.
Neighbor-to-neighbor community organizing that leverages and strengthens social ties amongst residents to support work.
Across the city, most working age NYCHA residents earn below the average median income of New York City. The City is aggressively addressing this issue to support NYCHA residents through the New York City Jobs-Plus Collaborative, an interagency partnership between NYCHA, the NYC Human Resources Administration, the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity, and the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs, Office of Financial Empowerment. The Collaborative successfully grew the program from one to ten sites, now serving 27 developments. Through Jobs Plus, NYCHA helped nearly 7,000 residents find jobs.
“A job that provides family-supporting wages is a crucial step for New Yorkers in need to achieve financial independence and long term success,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “Jobs-Plus is a proven model to assist public housing residents with the training and skill development programs they need to improve their employment opportunities. We’re pleased to be a part of the effort to bring these vital services to Penn Wortman Houses.”
“Helping public housing residents find jobs, build careers, and achieve financial stability are just a few ways we are working to increase equity and support financial stability for all New Yorkers,” said Matt Klein, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity. “There is strong evidence that Jobs-Plus increases employment rates and earnings for public housing residents. We are thrilled to see this program grow and serve NYCHA residents in East New York.”
“Our Office of Financial Empowerment is dedicated to empowering our communities with the tools and resources they need to achieve financial security,” said Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Lorelei Salas. “DCA is proud to be a part of the first NYC federally funded Jobs-Plus center and working to help bridge the financial service divides within the Brooklyn community. We encourage all of the Penn-Wortman House residents to take advantage of these high-quality, free financial education and counseling services to help improve their financial health.”
In late 2016 NYCHA received a Jobs Plus Initiative grant, the first in New York City, through a competitive process. NYCHA is leveraging HUD’s first investment in Jobs Plus in New York City and the inter-agency Jobs Plus Collaborative to expand the Jobs-Plus program to Pennsylvania Avenue-Wortman Avenue Houses in East New York, Brooklyn. Currently, the average annual household income is $20,049 at Penn-Wortman.
The Penn-Wortman Jobs Plus Center will serve hundreds of public housing residents through career and financial programming. The $2 million dollar, 4-year HUD investment will fund a Jobs Plus site that will enroll at least 325 Penn-Wortman residents into the program and develop individualized training and service plans with all members. NYCHA expects close to 150 job placements from this center in its first few years.
In addition to helping residents find new employment and strengthen their careers, additional services are available, including: financial counseling, education, training, open a safe and affordable bank account, decrease debt, increase and establish credit and Earn a college degree.
Fifty-nine residents are also expected to receive benefits of the Jobs Plus Earned Income Disregard, which will disregard 100 percent of their additional income in rent calculations throughout the life of the grant.
Through a competitive process, a subcontract, administered by NYC Human Resources Administration, was awarded to Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation to deliver the Jobs-Plus program at Penn-Wortman. Bed-Stuy Restoration is a Brooklyn-based multi-service non-profit organization with deep experience in community and workforce development, and has experience successfully operating a Jobs- Plus site since 2013. They will provide customized educational curricula across the Jobs Plus model’s three core components: employment-related services, financial incentives and Community Support for Work.
"The more resources allocated within a community; the greater the opportunity for economic empowerment which will in turn, enrich the life of an individual, their family and the community in general,” said Senator Roxane J. Persaud. “This Job Plus center will not only lead to financial stability but social stability thus improving the quality of life for those who needs it most."
“There’s nothing to replicate the fulfillment of having a job to go to every morning, with all the purpose and promise it represents,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “For this reason and so many more, I am particularly proud to welcome the city's first federally-funded Jobs Plus center to Penn-Wortman Houses in East New York. The services it will provide are important to ascending the ladder of success, which must be accessible to every single resident in our public housing developments.”
About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
NYCHA’s mission is to increase opportunities for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers by providing safe, affordable housing and facilitating access to social and community services. More than 400,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA’s 326 public housing developments around the five boroughs, and another 235,000 receive subsidized rental assistance in private homes through the NYCHA-administered Section 8 Leased Housing Program. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/nycha and for regular updates on NYCHA news and services, connect with us via www.facebook.com/NYCHA and www.twitter.com/NYCHA.