On Oct. 10, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Administration of Children and Families (ACF), announced $16.7 million in new grant awards to support 39 Community Economic Development (CED) projects. The grants, aligning with Community Economic Development Month in October, will stimulate the creation of more than 575 new, full-time jobs with sustainable wages for individuals living in low-income communities in 26 states.
“Sustainable community development is an issue of equity. By uplifting communities, we are paving the way for economic stability and mobility for households across the country,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “When we support individuals so they can bring home livable wages to support their families, we give them an opportunity to thrive. The Community Economic Development program strengthens our families and our communities.”
Seventy-five percent of the jobs created under each CED grant will be reserved for individuals with low incomes. Each grant recipient will also provide support services to address barriers that individuals with low incomes may face in obtaining and maintaining sustainable employment.
“Our goal is to foster sustainable and long-term economic mobility, meant to end the cycle of poverty and unemployment in families. Through CED, we are partnering with community development corporations to maintain the momentum in creating and expanding businesses and jobs,” said Acting ACF Assistant Secretary Jeff Hild.
The grants are administered by ACF’s Office of Community Services (OCS). The main goal of the CED program is to expand employment for individuals with low income in communities facing persistent poverty and high unemployment, and to help remove barriers to reliable employment. The funding allows grant recipients to provide critical wraparound support services to low-income communities, such as childcare, transportation and financial literacy.
“This year we are excited to reach new communities through economic development. On top of the traditional grants, we have awarded new planning grants to communities in states without an active grant, some of which have never received a CED grant before.” said OCS Director Dr. Lanikque Howard. “These new grants, plus new awards in energy communities to support the president’s energy community initiative and the White House-led Justice40 Initiative, hold the promise to foster sustainable economies in communities who need them most, so no one is left behind.”
A significant share of awards announced today will benefit disadvantaged communities as designated by the Justice40 Initiative. Of the 18 recipients who received a new CED project grant, 10 recipients indicated that their proposed business will be located in a disadvantaged community; and of the 21 recipients who received a CED planning grant, 19 recipients may develop a future CED project in a disadvantaged community.
OCS administers multiple anti-poverty programs to reduce the causes and consequences of poverty, increase opportunity and economic security of individuals and families and revitalize communities.
HHS has the press release.