AKRON, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded a four-year, $2.3 million grant to the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority as part of a job-training and education program for families living in the Summit Lake Apartments.
Joseph Galvan, HUD’s Midwest regional administrator, presented the grant Thursday at Summit Lake as part of $20 million awarded by HUD to nine public housing agencies across the country for the so-called Jobs Plus Program.
The program combines the HUD grant with $13.2 million leveraged from community partners that will provide services to residents including GED, trade-skills and college classes, resume-building, job placement, transportation to and from work, childcare and financial counseling.
“The goal is to saturate communities with work-related messages and to create a culture of work,” Galvan said. “We know that people learn by example. If they learn that they have to get up at a certain time, if they learn that they have to show up on time, if they learn how to dress – a culture of work is a culture of success.”
Under the program, residents also will be able to increase their income without the housing authority increasing their rent for two years, according to AMHA Executive Director Brian Gage.
About 530 people live in the Summit Lake Apartments, including about 260 who are able to work, according to HUD. The area’s average annual household income is $8,606, the poverty rate is 58.4% and the child poverty rate is 78.7%, according to AMHA.
“AMHA’s Job Plus Program builds on the work being done in the Summit Lake community, improving residents’ access to the resources and supports needed to eliminate barriers to employment,” Gage said. “Our goal is to improve the lives of our residents by giving them the tools to succeed and build fulfilling careers. This grant has not only identified new partnerships to benefit our residents, but has also strengthened established connections throughout the community.”
The partners involved in the program include the Summit County Workforce Investment Board, Akron Area YMCA, Goodwill Industries, METRO Regional Transit Authority, Building for Tomorrow: Early Childhood Initiative, REACH Opportunity Center, Open M, Project Learn of Summit County, Stark State College, Akron Urban League, Summit County Department of Job and Family Services, AxessPointe Community Health Center, conxusNEO and the United Way of Summit County.
HUD last month awarded nearly $350,000 to AMHA in so-called Family Self-Sufficiency grants, designed to enable public housing authorities to help residents increase their earning potential by partnering with social service organizations, community colleges and businesses that provide education and training.
Galvan said that, as jobs come to the Akron area, “we want to make sure that public housing residents are at the cutting edge, ready to take advantage of those new jobs that are being created.”
Last week, HUD awarded $11.5 million to AMHA to make capital improvements to its properties, which is up 6.5% from last year, Galvan said.
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Goist, Robin. (2020, Feb 20). Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority receives $2.3 million grant from HUD for economic empowerment program at Summit Lake. Cleveland.com. Retrieved from https://www.cleveland.com/akron/2020/02/akron-metropolitan-housing-authority-receives-23-million-grant-from-hud-for-economic-empowerment-program-at-summit-lake.html