Section 3 is a provision of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968. The purpose of Section 3 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.
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By to the “Greatest Extent Feasible”, the Department means that every effort must be made to comply with the regulatory requirements of Section 3. By this, the Department means that recipients of Section 3 covered financial assistance should make every effort within their disposal to meet the regulatory requirements. For instance, this may mean going a step beyond normal notification procedures for employment and contracting procedures by developing strategies that will specifically target Section 3 residents and businesses for these types of economic opportunities.
A “section 3 resident” is:
1) a public housing resident; or
2) a low- or very low-income person residing in the metropolitan area or non-metropolitan county where the Section 3 covered assistance is expended.
Section 3 business concerns are businesses that can provide evidence that they meet one of the following criteria:
a) 51 percent or more owned by Section 3 residents; or
b) At least 30 percent of its full-time employees include persons that are currently Section 3 residents, or were Section 3 residents within three years of the date of first hire*; or
c) Provides evidence, as required, of a commitment to subcontract in excess of 25 percent of the dollar award of all subcontracts to business concerns that meet one of the first two qualifications above.
*Example: Alysha was an unemployed Section 3 resident that was first hired by ABC Company on January 1, 2011. She received a raise of $2,500 in March 2012, thereby boosting her household income above the local low income level. ABC Company may continue to count Alysha as one of their Section 3 employees until December 31, 2013 (i.e. within three years of the date of first hire).
Section 3 is both race and gender neutral. The preferences provided under this regulation are based on income-level and location. Section 3 regulations were designed to encourage recipients of HUD funding to direct new employment, training, and contracting opportunities to low-income residents, and the businesses that employ these persons, within their community regardless of race and/or gender.
To learn more about the Minority Business Enterprise and Women Business Enterprise programs, please contact HUD‘s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization at 202-708-1428, or visit their website, located at:
A Section 3 covered project involves the construction or rehabilitation of housing (including reduction of lead-based paint hazards), or other public construction such as street repair, sewage line repair or installation, updates to building facades, etc.
A recipient is any entity which receives Section 3 covered assistance, directly from HUD or from another recipient (i.e., a PHA; unit of State or local government; property owner; developer; etc). It does not include contractors or any intended beneficiary under the HUD program to which Section 3 applies, such as a homeowner or a Section 3 resident.
Yes. A nonprofit organization can be a legitimate business concern. Non-profit organizations must meet the criteria of a Section 3 business concern as defined at 24 CFR Part 135.5 in order to receive Section 3 preference.
All contracts (or subcontracts) funded with Public and Indian Housing assistance, regardless of dollar amount or type of contract, is subject to the requirements of Section 3.
With respect to recipients of Housing and/or Community Development funding, all contractors or subcontractors that receive covered contracts in excess of $100,000 for housing construction, rehabilitation, or other public construction are required to comply with the requirements of Section 3.
If the contractor/subcontractor has the need to hire new persons to complete the Section 3 covered contract or needs to subcontract portions of the work to another business, they are required to direct their newly created employment and/or subcontracting opportunities to Section 3 residents and business concerns. The same numerical goals apply to contractors and subcontractors (i.e., 30 percent of new hires, 10 percent of construction contracts, and 3 percent of non-construction contracts). In addition, the contractor/subcontractor must notify the recipient agency
about their efforts to comply with Section 3 and submit any required documentation.
No. Section 3 does not apply to material only contracts or those that do not require any labor. For example, a contract for office or janitorial supplies would not be covered by Section 3. In this example, Section 3 would be encouraged but not required. However, a contract to replace windows that includes the removal of existing windows and the installation of new windows would be covered.
Yes, but only for PIH funded programs administered by Public Housing Authorities.
Yes. Any employee that was not on the payroll of a recipient, developer, or contractor on the day that Section 3 covered assistance was provided can be counted towards the Section 3 minimum numerical goal for employment.
A new hire means a full-time employee for a new permanent, temporary, or seasonal position that is created as a direct result of the expenditure of Section 3 covered financial assistance.
Section 3 is not an entitlement program, there are no guarantees. Residents and businesses must be able to demonstrate that they have the ability or capacity to
perform the specific job or successfully complete the contract that they are seeking.
Section 3 requirements provide preference to Section 3 residents and business concerns, but not a guarantee.
Recipients, developers, and contractors are required, to the extent feasible, to direct all employment opportunities to low- and very low-income persons- including seasonal and temporary employment opportunities. Employment goals are based on “new hires” which are defined as full-time employees for permanent, temporary or seasonal employment opportunities.
Recipients, developers, and contractors are encouraged to provide long-term employment.
The individual or business must contact the agency or developer that they are seeking employment or contracting opportunities from (i.e., the PHA, city, or local government). They should identify themselves as a Section 3 resident or business and provide whatever documentation that the recipient agency requires under their certification procedures.
HUD does not prescribe that any specific forms of evidence to establish Section 3 eligibility. Sample certification documents can be found on the Section 3 website. Acceptable documentation includes, but is not limited to the following:
HUD does not prescribe that any specific forms of evidence be required to establish Section 3 eligibility. Sample certification documents can be found on the Section 3
website. The business seeking the preference must be able to demonstrate that they meet one of the following criteria:
51 percent or more owned by Section 3 residents; or
Has permanent, full time employees at least 30 percent of whom are currently Section 3 residents, or within three years of the date of first employment with the business concern were Section 3 residents; or
Has a commitment to sub-contract in excess of 25 percent of the total dollar award of all sub-contracts to be awarded to such businesses described above.
Yes. Public and Indian housing residents need only show proof of residency in public housing within the metropolitan area (or non-metropolitan county). Other residents of the Section 3 area may need to show proof of residency in the metropolitan area (or non-metropolitan county) and meet the HUD income requirements
Contact local recipient agencies to find Section 3 business concerns in your area.
No. Contractors and/or developers should not submit Section 3 reports to HUD. Only direct recipients (agencies) are required to submit Section 3 reports to HUD. Contractors should maintain adequate documentation to demonstrate compliance with Section 3 and forward information to the direct recipient (i.e., the agency that awarded them a covered contract) as directed or upon request.
Any Section 3 resident or Section 3 business (or authorized representative) seeking employment, training, or contracting opportunities generated by Section 3 covered assistance may file a complaint using form HUD 958.
Effective November 2007, Section 3 complaints must be filed at the appropriate FHEO Regional Office where the violation occurred. Please visit www.hud.gov/offices/fheo to obtain the address and telephone number for FHEO regional offices.
Copies of the Section 3 complaint form (HUD 958), filing instructions and mailing addresses may be obtained at: www.hud.gov/section3.
Yes. Section 3 complaints must be filed no later than 180 days from the date of the action or omission upon which the complaint is based.
Once a timely complaint has been filed with the appropriate Regional Office, the Department will determine if the compliant has jurisdiction or is covered by Section 3 regulations. An investigator will be assigned the case and will notify the respondent about the complaint. The respondent has the option of resolving the complaint or contesting it. If the respondent contests or denies the allegations of noncompliance contained in the complaint, the investigator will proceed to gather facts or evidence from both parties. Thereafter, the investigator will prepare a letter of findings and either make a determination of noncompliance or dismiss the complaint.
Pursuant to 24 CFR 135.76, the Assistant Secretary will attempt, through informal methods, to obtain a voluntary and just resolution of the complaint. Where attempts to resolve the complaint informally fail, the Assistant Secretary will impose a resolution on the recipient and complainant. Any resolution imposed by the Assistant Secretary will be in accordance with requirements and procedures concerning the imposition of sanctions or resolutions as set forth in the regulations governing the HUD program under which the Section 3 covered assistance is provided.
If you are denied employment and/or contracting opportunities, you may have standing to bring a complaint at HUD under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and/or Section 109 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. You may also be eligible to bring complaints under other federal laws. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information (medical history or predisposition to disease). For more information about your rights, please contact EEOC at: www.EEOC.gov. The Department of Labor Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) enforces, for the benefit of job seekers and wage earners, the contractual promise of affirmative action and equal employment opportunity required of those who do business with the Federal government. More information about the services they provide can be obtained at: http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/