The long-awaited proposed improvements to the Section 3 regulations are now at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Technically, OMB has 90 days to review and comment on the proposed changes. Based on any OMB concerns and HUD’s responses, more time could elapse before proposed modifications to the rule are issued for public comment.
The purpose of Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 is to ensure that when HUD funds assist housing and community development projects, preference for new jobs, training, and contracting opportunities that are created go to low income people and to businesses owned by low income people or that hire them, “to the greatest extent feasible.”
The OMB abstract of the proposed rule states that it would update the existing rule to:
- Reflect changes in the design and implementation of HUD programs subject to Section 3,
- Clarify the obligations of covered recipient agencies, and
- Simplify HUD's Section 3 complaint processing procedures.
The existing Section 3 regulations reflect modifications made in 1994 in response to changes to the law in 1992. At the beginning of the current Administration, HUD stated that improved Section 3 compliance and enforcement would be a priority. On August 24, 2010, HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO), which administers Section 3, held a listening session at which NLIHC, other advocates, and various other stakeholders participated (see Memo, 8/27/10). During the ensuing years, NLIHC and other advocates communicated ideas for improving Section 3 regulations to FHEO.
The OMB abstract description is at http://1.usa.gov/1yQJKjB .
More information about Section 3 is on page 265 of NLIHC’s 2014 Advocates’ Guide, http://bit.ly/XuEWVO.
The current issue of Tenant Talk features the Section 3 program. Go to http://nlihc.org/article/tenant-talk-volume-5-issue-2.