Jobs-Plus Community Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing Families
Jobs-Plus is a welfare-to-work demonstration aimed at significantly increasing the employment rate among public housing residents.
Jobs are a key element in the elimination of persistent poverty. The Jobs-Plus demonstration provides intensive, employment-focused services targeting every able-bodied, working-age resident at a public housing development in each of five cities: Baltimore, Chattanooga, Dayton, Los Angeles, and St. Paul. (Seven cities were initially chosen to participate in the demonstration, but two, Cleveland and Seattle, subsequently dropped out). The Jobs-Plus program implemented in each city was locally designed using three broadly conceived elements: (a) “best” practices in preparing residents for and linking them with jobs; (b) work incentives through the manipulation of rent rules for public housing; and (c) enhanced community supports for work.
Sponsors of Jobs-Plus felt that neither of these elements alone could be reasonably expected to enable sites to succeed in meeting the goals of Job-Plus. However, they felt that the successful implementation of all three simultaneously had the potential to create a synergy among them that could lead to results that exceed the sum of the individual parts and surpass the accomplishments of the past. Finally, the demonstration was designed and implemented in a collaboration among the local housing authority, residents of the developments, the local welfare agency, the local workforce development agency and other relevant partners. The initiative is also a response to new national policies, such as time-limited welfare and cuts in public housing subsidies that endanger the ability of public housing residents to pay rent.
Jobs-Plus is authorized under Section 204 of P. L. 104-134, Omnibus Consolidated and Recissions and Appropriations Act of 1996. It was announced in the Federal Register FR-4123-N-01. It is administered by HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research.
Each housing authority received a $200,000 grant—which was matched at least 2 to 1 at the local level--for the direct costs of Jobs-Plus implementation and related research activities. The Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC), a New York-based, nonprofit organization with expertise in the evaluation of employment and welfare-to-work strategies, provided technical assistance to the sites to help them design and implement their plans. MDRC is evaluating the long-term impacts of different sites' approaches to assisting residents to find and maintain jobs, changes in the employment rate of residents, and changes in the quality of life in the development. MDRC receives funds from HUD, the Rockefeller Foundation, along with other public agencies and philanthropies, for its activities under Jobs-Plus. MDRC will complete the evaluation in 2004.
All working-age residents in the selected public housing developments are eligible to participate in the demonstration. They will benefit from employment income and related community services to support their employment. Collaborations among public housing residents, public housing authorities, and agencies including local welfare departments, the education and training community, and social service agencies will receive technical assistance to coordinate their programs to better serve residents.
Eligible activities include job training, job clubs, access to education, transportation and child care assistance, case management and other services to aid in obtaining and maintaining jobs.
Jobs-Plus is a subset of the Moving-to-Work Demonstration. No new applications are being accepted for Jobs-Plus.