PHA Increases Economic Opportunity Under Section 3 Program

(Philadelphia, PA - January 24, 2017) - A new report shows that the Philadelphia Housing Authority is outperforming federal goals in providing both employment and business opportunities to low and very low income people in the city.

The results are contained in the latest "Section 3" reports filed by the authority with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Section 3 is a provision in the HUD Act of 1968 that seeks to ensure that economic opportunities are afforded to low and very low-income citizens. The numbers reported by PHA covered Fiscal Year 2016, a period running from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016.

"PHA is an economic engine for the City. Besides housing families and seniors, our objectives include business development and the self-sufficiency for our residents.  So it is gratifying that we have provided enough economic opportunities that exceed our stated goals," said PHA President and CEO Kelvin A. Jeremiah.  "We'll never be totally satisfied, but PHA takes great pride in extending opportunities to people and businesses that might otherwise miss out.  I want to thank PHA's Board of Commissioners for continuing to encourage us to grow in this area."

The report to HUD shows that just over 54% of new hires under PHA's capital fund program were Section 3 new hires, far exceeding the minimum goal of 30 percent.  Put another way, 277 of 512 people hired under the program were Section 3 new hires. The housing authority's capital fund program, which is used for the development and modernization of public housing developments, totaled more than $44 million for FY 2016.

For FY 2016, PHA awarded over $3.3 million or 9.64% of its construction contracts to Section 3 businesses. That's an improvement over the past two years.

PHA far exceeded its minimum goal of three percent in non-construction contracts awarded during that period.  Over $47 million in non-construction contracts went to Section 3 businesses or 14.14% of the total dollar amount of all such contracts awarded.

PHA surpassed the minimum requirement for Section 3 new hires under its operating fund program: nearly 63% of all new hires were Section 3 applicants. The minimum goal for this category is 30%.

The percentage of construction and non-construction contracts awarded under the program handily beat the minimums required.  Just shy of 15% of construction contracts awarded or over $1.29 million went to Section 3 businesses.  PHA's minimum requirement is 10 percent.  Meanwhile, over 18 percent of non-construction contracts awarded under the operating fund program or over $3.57 million went to Section 3 businesses.  The minimum here is three percent.

PHA conducts workshops quarterly for contractors and Section 3 resident communities entitled, "Doing Business with PHA."

The business networking event educates potential contractors on how to bid for contracts, upcoming contract opportunities, prequalification, submitting proposals, and bidding procedures.

"These sessions also inform potential vendors about bonding and insurance requirements, other compliance rules, and minority and women-owned business participation.