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The New Bedford Housing Authority has secured funding from HUD to employ two Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency (ROSS) Program Coordinators. The purpose of the ROSS Coordinator program is to provide funding to hire and maintain Service Coordinators who will assess the needs of residents of conventional Public Housing and coordinate available resources in the community to meet those needs. In addition, ROSS Coordinators create cohesive strategies which incorporate both public and private resources, residential empowerment activities, and other supportive services. These services enable participating families to increase earned income, reduce and/or eliminate the need for welfare assistance, and make progress toward achieving economic independence and housing self-sufficiency.
The ROSS Coordinators are currently assigned to the Bay Village and Presidential Heights developments. The NBHA is hopeful to secure additional funding to expand our ROSS Program in the near future. If you would like more information, please contact Esperanza Alejandro-Berube (DeMello International Building) 508-997-4829 or Lizandra Gonzalez (Presidential Heights) at 508-961-3125.
The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program enables families that are assisted through the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) to increase their earned income and reduce their dependency on welfare assistance and rental subsidies. Under the FSS program, low-income families are provided opportunities for education, job training, counseling and other forms of social service assistance, while living in assisted housing, so they can obtain skills necessary to achieve self-sufficiency.
The FSS program is administered by Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) with the help of Program Coordinating Committees (PCCs). The PCC usually consists of representatives of local government, employment and job training agencies, welfare agencies, nonprofit providers, local businesses, and assisted families.
Services for FSS program participants are provided through local partnerships with employers and service providers in the community.
HCV participants who are interested in participating in the FSS program may contact Tamy Vieira at 508-997-4829 Ext. 137.
The New Bedford Housing Authority is committed to improving the quality of life for all of our residents, especially our seniors. We have a Resident Service Coordinator for the Elderly and Disabled working out of the Boa Vista Apartments and a Resident Service Coordinator working out of Tripp Towers. These Service Coordinators also work at our other senior developments on Caroline Street, Hillside Court, New Bedford Hotel, and Crestview.
Our Service Coordinators assist seniors with many tasks, including completing medical paperwork, referrals, and put them in contact with available services they may not be aware of. Included are visits from health professionals and other outside agencies that focus on a number of issues including nutrition and independent living.
We also try and facilitate a fun atmosphere by promoting a sense of friendship in the community; the NBHA organizes movie nights, carnival-themed events in the summer, barbecues, and holiday luncheons in our senior-oriented developments.
Beginning in January 2014, all of the New Bedford Housing Authority's properties have gone smoke-free. Ahead of the curve with DHCD's recommendation that PHA's in Massachusetts go smoke-free in April of 2014, the NBHA began to implement smoke free policies in January of 2013 by informing all residents of the policy during the annual re-certification process.
The NBHA is a proud partner with Voices for a Healthy Southcoast, a group led by the Southcoast YMCA and Southcoast Health System. The group is implementing the SouthCoast Healthy Housing and Workplace Initiative. SCHHWI is a no-smoking initiative that will improve the health and safety of residents of the South Coast. By the NBHA going smoke-free, we will be improving the health and quality of life for our residents.
Smoking is no longer allowed in apartments, including, but not limited to, community rooms, community bathrooms, lobbies, reception areas, hallways, laundry rooms, stairways, offices, and elevators. In addition, no smoking is allowed within a specified distance from building(s), as determined by the Property Manager, including entryways, porches, balconies, and patios.
In a recent survey, Housing Authority residents overwhelmingly supported going smoke-free. In addition to the health benefits of going smoke-free, by not smoking inside units will aid in reducing the cost of renovating units during turnover and reducing vacancy turn around time, allowing NBHA to better utilize funds and personnel.
For those residents that wish to stop smoking, the NBHA has created a support system to help in this endeavor. The NBHA has a wellness educator, Jaime Berberena of YMCA SouthCoast, working with our residents throughout the city. Jaime can be reached at 508-997-4829 Ext 135 and through email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Section 3 Opportunities
What is Section 3?
Section 3 is a provision of the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Act of 1968 that helps foster local economic development, neighborhood economic improvement, and individual self-sufficiency. The Section 3 program requires that recipients of certain HUD financial assistance, to the greatest extent feasible, provide job training, employment, and contracting opportunities for low or very low income residents in connection with projects and activities in their neighborhoods.
How does Section 3 promote self-sufficiency?
Section 3 is a starting point to obtain job training, employment, and contracting opportunities. From this integral foundation, coupled with other provided resources comes the opportunity for economic advancement and self-sufficiency.
How does Section 3 promote homeownership?
Section 3 is a starting point to homeownership. Once a Section 3 worker has obtained employment or contracting opportunities they have begun the first step to self-sufficiency. Homeownership is achievable. For more information visit the HUD website.
Who are Section 3 Workers?
Section 3 workers are: Public housing residents or other low income/ very low-income persons that reside within the Service area of the HUD assisted project in their neighborhoods.
Employees of Section 3 business concerns as well as YouthBuild participants qualify as a Section 3 worker.
Determining Income levels
Low income is defined as 50% or below the median income for that area. Very-low income is defined as 80% or below the median income for that area.
What is a Section 3 business concern?
A business that:
- is 51% or more owned by low- or very low-income persons; or
- 75% of the total labor hours are performed by Section 3 workers; or
- is 51% or more owned by a current resident of public housing or Section 8- assisted housing
What programs are covered?
- Section 3 applies to HUD-funded Public and Indian Housing assistance for development, operating, and modernization expenditures.
- Section 3 also applies to certain HUD-funded Housing and Community Development projects that complete housing rehabilitation, housing construction, and other public construction.
What types of economic opportunities are available under Section 3?
- Job Training
- Any employment resulting from these expenditures, including administration, management, clerical support, and construction, is subject to compliance with section 3.
Who will award the economic opportunities?
Recipients of HUD financial assistance will award the economic opportunities. They, and their contractors and subcontractors, are required to provide, to the greatest extent feasible, economic opportunities consistent with existing Federal, State, local laws, and regulations.
Who receives training under Section 3?
For training and employment:
- Persons in public and assisted housing
- Persons in the Service Area where the HUD financial assistance is spent
- Participants in HUD Youthbuild programs
- Businesses that meet the definition of a Section 3 business concern
How can businesses find Section 3 residents to work for them?
Businesses can recruit Section 3 Workers in public housing developments and in the neighborhoods where the HUD assistance is being spent. Effective ways of informing residents about available training and job opportunities are: contacting local resident organizations, local community development, and employment agencies
A Better Life
What is “ A Better Life” (ABL)?
Supported by the Department of Housing and Community Development, the “A Better Life” program is a self-sufficiency initiative that engages and supports residents living in designated state public housing developments in the achievement of personal and professional goals that will lead to financial independence.
The goal is to reduce or eliminate the use of government aided subsidies and support residents in the transition to financial independence outside of public housing and to encourage residents to become first time home owners through education and employment opportunities.
The program staff will work with residents to develop Individual Goal Plans that can cover goals related to education, employment, life skills, parenting and personal development. Residents commit to a 3-year contract in the program. During that time, residents who complete their employment goals can earn the opportunity to escrow, up to $15,000.00. This money can be used towards the purchase of a car, tuition, paying down debt, or a down payment on a new home. The ability to have this escrow account is exclusive to the households that participate in ABL.
The ABL program is a requirement for tenants residing in certain state-funded developments. If you are between the ages of 18-55, you will be required to take part. Individuals with certified medical disabilities can apply for an exemption from this requirement.
Parkdale Resource Center, 128 Summit St., New Bedford, MA 02740 774-202-1951
Blue Meadows Resource Center, 473 Dartmouth St. (back door), New Bedford, MA 02740 508-997-4826