Section 3

Section 3 is the starting point for all things self-sufficiency for residents of Public and Indian Housing Communities.  If poverty has remained stagnant in this industry, it is directly associated with the industry's lack of enforcement, oversight, and compliance efforts. 

What is Section 3?

Section 3 is a provision of the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Act of 1968 that helps foster local economic development, neighborhood economic improvement, and individual self-sufficiency. The Section 3 program requires that recipients of certain HUD financial assistance, to the greatest extent feasible, provide job training, employment, and contracting opportunities for low- or very-low income residents in connection with projects and activities in their neighborhoods.  

Section 3 requirements apply to approximately 5,000 recipients of HUD funding (such as Public Housing Authorities, State and local government agencies, low-income housing providers, etc.) and their sub-recipients and contractors. Up to 40% of HUD's annual budget is subject to Section 3 requirements.

How Does Section 3 Promote Self-Sufficiency?

Section 3 is a starting point to obtain job training, employment, and contracting opportunities. From this integral foundation, coupled with other resources, comes the opportunity for economic advancement and self-sufficiency.

What Does This Really Mean?

Agencies who receive certain HUD Financial assistance are obligated to ensure that those funds are used to assist low-income families with training, employment, and contracting opportunities first.   With all the major redevelopment efforts being taken on by Public Housing Authorities across the nation, pipelines for employment, contracting and training opportunities should be bursting at the seams. Residents should be prepared to seize opportunities when they arise.

Why Is This an Issue?

Poverty is big business for some and pure misery for those trapped within its tentacles.  There's a famous quote by Charles Darwin which states "If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin."  If we can send a man to the moon, certainly we can move people from poverty to prosperity.  This is NOT Rocket Science, Ladies and Gentlemen!  It's called LOVE! 

Since 1994, the Section 3 program has been governed by an interim regulation. For the first time in 20 years, HUD has proposed a new rule that would expand opportunities for public housing residents and low-income workers and increase contracting opportunities for local businesses.  BUT it has been sitting dormant for the last 2+ years with no final approval.  

What Can You Do About It?

  1. Let us help you start your own business.  Visit for details and application. 
  2. Contact your local Section 3 Regional and Head Quarters Point of Contact.  Let them know about your local concerns.
  3. Register to become a Section 3 Business Concern.
  4. Educate and inform your local community leaders and residents about Section 3 and its benefits.  If more people are aware and speak out, then greater accountability can be placed on the federal program. 
  5. Read the Office Of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity(FHEO) Annual Report to Congress.  



Quick Facts

By ensuring that HUD-funded employment opportunities are meaningful, the new proposed rule could result in more than $16 million in Weekly wages for section 3 residents. 


A 2013 OIG report speaks to HUD's failure to Enforce the Reporting Requirements of Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 for Public Housing Authorities. 


There is a complaint process. Section 3 residents and business concerns may file complaints if they think a violation of Section 3 requirements has occurred where a HUD-funded project is planned or underway. Complaints will be investigated; if appropriate, voluntary resolutions will be sought. There are appeal rights to the Secretary. Section 3 residents and businesses may also seek judicial relief. 


Section 3 is a starting point for homeownership. Once a Section 3 resident has obtained employment or contracting opportunities they have begun the first step to self-sufficiency. 


Economic Opportunities for Low-Income persons (CFR 135) General Statute.  


Access the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 3 Presentation


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