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Employment and Business Opportunities Through HUD

Established in 1965, the Department of Housing and Urban Development presents its purpose as “the Federal agency responsible for national policy and programs that address America’s housing needs, that improve and develop the Nation’s communities, and enforce fair housing laws. HUD’s business is helping create a decent home and suitable living environment for all Americans, and it has given America’s communities a strong national voice at the Cabinet level. HUD plays a major role in supporting homeownership by underwriting homeownership for lower- and moderate-income families through its mortgage insurance programs.”

Most Americans are aware of Section 8, the rental-assistance program for low-income citizens. Far fewer know about Section 3, which provides employment and business opportunities and contracts for low-income citizens. 

The website defines Section 3 as a provision of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968. The purpose of Section 3 is to “ensure that employment and other economic opportunities generated by certain HUD financial assistance shall, to the greatest extent feasible, and consistent with existing Federal, State, and local laws and regulations, be directed to low- and very low-income persons, particularly those who are recipients of government assistance for housing, and to business concerns which provide economic opportunities to low- and very low-income persons.” To apply for these programs, visit:


The Section 3 program requires that “recipients (contractors and businesses) of certain HUD financial assistance, to the greatest extent possible, provide training, employment, contracting and other economic opportunities to low- and very low-income persons, especially recipients of government assistance for housing, and to businesses that provide economic opportunities to low- and very low-income persons.”

If you are a recipient of government assistance for housing or if your income falls below HUD’s income limits, you may qualify as a Section 3 worker, targeted worker, or Section 3 business concern. Learn more about Section 3 here.

Two hurdles to success may exist. One is money; the other is know-how. Dealing with the Federal government can be daunting. Imam Muhammad said, “it is all right to think big and start small.”  Keep that in mind when approaching this opportunity. Find a contractor doing business with the Federal government, if possible in the field or product segment you are interested in, and get a job with them, even if you have to volunteer. Do your best work and learn all you can; work your way up until you have access to the highest levels of knowledge. Most importantly, save your money. Develop a business plan, even if it is modeled on other successful ones, and move when you are properly financed and thoroughly informed.

If you already have money and an established company, then hire an attorney who specializes in government contracts. Make sure they know how to speak to their clients.

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