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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development
Press Room

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 14, 2004
Press contact: Carol Abrams (212) 863-5176

HPD HELPS SECTION 8 RECIPIENTS INCREASE SELF-SUFFICIENCY
50 graduates complete new career advancement program geared toward skill development and job placement

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and LaGuardia Community College announce that fifty recipients of Section 8 rental assistance who participated in the Career Advancement Program (CAP) in the past year graduate today. Participants received certifications as nurse's aids, G.E.D.s, or completed various coursework including computer information technology and English as a Second Language. 22 graduates significantly increased their income via professional certification and 23 previously unemployed participants secured jobs through the program.

Recipients of HPD Section 8 rental assistance can choose to participate in HPD's five-year Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS), which offers a variety of services to help families achieve economic self-sufficiency. The Career Advancement Program (CAP) is a collaboration between HPD and LaGuardia Community College's Division of Adult and Continuing Education to provide FSS participants access to career planning and customized job training based on the needs and goals of participants and the demands of the labor market.

The CAP program is currently in its second year. Individual career planning sessions have been completed with over 500 participants. As participants increase their income, the FSS program affords them the opportunity to have their rent increases matched by FSS and placed in an escrow account. The money in the escrow account is available to the participants upon graduation and may be used to further their goals, such as additional education or a down payment on a home.

"Career planning and job training have helped these CAP graduates to identify short and long range career and educational goals, enroll in school and get training to increase their skills, and find employment," said Housing Commissioner Shaun Donovan.

In one story, a CAP graduate received career counseling and developed a five-year career plan. He was referred to the College Prep Program that assisted him with applying to college, including filling out financial aid forms. He has been attending LaGuardia Community College as a Business Administration major since September 2003. He said, "college is taking me to another level…it will put me in a good position." The CAP job developer helped him get a job with benefits and reimbursement for his college courses.

HPD Section 8 recipients interested in the FSS and CAP programs may call 917-286-4300.

HPD's mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers. Since Fiscal Year 1987, the agency has completed the construction or rehabilitation of 212,000 units of affordable housing. The Bloomberg administration's $3 billion housing plan will finance the creation or preservation of more than 65,000 homes and apartments in New York City neighborhoods over the next five years. For more information about affordable housing, call the City's Citizen Service Center at 311 or log on to www.nyc.gov/hpd

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