Need for Stronger Enforcement of Section 3 by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
WHEREAS, the U.S. Congress passed Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 at 12 U.S. C. 1701(u); and
WHEREAS, the 1968 Act states that Congress found that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs provide substantial funding to state and local government agencies, and entities such as public housing authorities, and that the funding provides substantial employment opportunities and other economic opportunities; and
WHEREAS, the 1968 Act states that Congress also found that low income and very low income persons often have restricted access to these employment/economic opportunities; and
WHEREAS, the 1968 Act states that Congressional policy and purpose to ensure that employment and economic opportunities generated by HUD Federal financial assistance shall be, to the greatest extent feasible, directed to low and very low income persons, particularly those low income and very low income persons who are recipients of HUD funding; and
WHEREAS, the 1968 Act directs that HUD shall require that Public and Indian Housing Authorities (PHA's) and their contractors and their subcontractors, make their best effort to give training, employment/economic opportunities generated by HUD funding to low and very low income persons; and
WHEREAS, the 1968 Act further provides that where feasible, priority for employment and other economic opportunities generated by HUD funding should be given to low income and very low income persons residing in the area of the HUD funding project, or neighborhood where the HUD project is located; and
WHEREAS, the 1968 Act required the Secretary of HUD to implement regulations to implement the provisions of the 1968 Act; and
WHEREAS, federal regulations implementing Section 3 of the 1968 Act were not enacted by HUD until June, 1994, and were then revised in February, 1995, at 24 CFR Part 135; and
WHEREAS, the NAACP has found that implementation of the congressional policy to ensure that low income and very low income persons receive greater access to the employment and economic opportunities that are generated by HUD funding to state and local governments and PHAs was delayed from 1968 through 1994 because of the lack of HUD regulations implementing Section 3 of the 1968 Act; and
WHEREAS, the NAACP has further found that the HUD Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a June 24, 2003 Audit Report citing various ongoing problems with HUD's enforcement of Section 3, including the lack of oversight, vague regulations, and lack of priority for the Section 3 program nationwide; and
WHEREAS, the NAACP has further found that the HUD OIG issued a June 23, 2013, Audit Report on HUD's failure to enforce the HUD Section 3 report requirements nationwide; and
WHEREAS, the HUD Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity issued a third notice dated December 15, 2014, addressed to all recipients of HUD funding, advising of continued failure with the HUD Central Office System for Section 3 reporting and advising all recipients to continue to refrain from submitting Section 3 reports: and
WHEREAS, the HUD Central Office issued a notice dated August 24, 2015, advising that the HUD Section 3 reporting system was not operational, and that all recipients of HUD funding could submit Section 3 reports for 2013 and 2014; and
WHEREAS, HUD issued proposed new regulations on Section 3 for public comment on March 2, 2015, but has not yet published a final rule on the propose Section 3 regulations; and
WHEREAS, HUD has failed to enforce Section 3 and/or ensure that Section 3 provides greater access to employment opportunities resulting from substantial HUD funding provided to state and local governments to low income and very low income persons as mandated by Congress in the 1968 Act.
WHEREAS, the NAACP takes note of the fact that the failure of HUD to enforce Section 3 has deprived low income and very low income persons in large urban communities nationwide, the vast majority being African Americans and other low income and very low income minorities, of substantial employment, training and other economic opportunities resulting from the tremendous amount of HUD funding given to State and local governments and PHAs.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the NAACP calls for urgent action to ensure that HUD makes Section 3 enforcement a priority as mandated by Congress through the 1968 Act so that low income and very low income persons in poor communities nationwide begin to receive the employment, training and other economic opportunities resulting from the vast funds going to state and local governments and PHAs nationwide.