U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson announced a new initiative to help HUD-assisted families achieve self-efficiency.
Carson announced HUD will launch its new EnVision Centers, which will be located on or near public housing developments. HUD explained these centers will be hubs for what it calls the four key pillars of self-sufficiency: character and leadership, educational advancement, economic empowerment and health and wellness.
The centers will form partnerships with federal agencies, state and local governments, non-profits, faith-based organizations, corporations, public housing authorities and housing finance agencies. EnVision Centers will utilize public-private resources to impact the community.
“While funding for HUD has increased over the last twenty years, the number of households served has remained the same,” Carson said. “We need to think differently about how we can empower Americans to climb the ladder of success.”
“EnVision Centers are designed to help people take the first few steps towards self-sufficiency,” he said. “Every household we are able to help graduate from HUD-assistance allows HUD to help one more family in need.”
Carson previously explained his vision to HousingWire in an exclusive interview with Editor-In-Chief Jacob Gaffney, who wrote:
One of Carson’s main initiatives is establishing “envision centers” of learning, especially for teenage mothers who, more often than not, end their educational trajectory once they give birth. New York City is seen as a potential spot for one of the first such centers where young, low-income parents can access day care while learning to code and “balance a checkbook or unclog a toilet,” the secretary told me. The project remains far from being piloted, especially considering recent cuts to HUD’s budget.
To read more on Gaffney’s conversation with HUD’s secretary, check out this magazine feature story.
HUD will start by launching ten pilot EnVision Centers across the U.S. It will also launch its new mobile app to help HUD assisted households find local resources through the EnVision Center network. HUD is issuing a notice in the Federal Register to get input from the public.
“We have made connecting hard-working Michiganders with high-demand, high-wage careers in the professional trades a priority and I appreciate that my federal partners are doing the same with EnVision Centers,” Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said. “By helping people get the training necessary to succeed in these fields, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is helping individuals earn a great future for themselves and their families while addressing a growing talent gap in the job market.”