Inventory of Self-Sufficiency and Economic Opportunity Programs
RCED-97-191R, Jul 28, 1997
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided: (1) an inventory, as of June 10, 1997, of the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) self-sufficiency and economic opportunity programs and demonstrations that are designed to assist tenants of public and assisted housing or low- and moderate-income residents of certain geographic areas; and (2) information on how two of HUD's self-sufficiency programs--Housing Opportunity for People Everywhere (HOPE VI) and Economic Development and Supportive Services (EDSS)--are linked to the other programs that GAO identified. GAO focused on: (1) programmatic linkages through which programs are coordinated and implemented toward accomplishing the objectives of HOPE VI and EDSS; and (2) funding linkages in which dollars from one program are provided to support other programs or activities.
GAO noted that: (1) HUD operates a total of 23 self-sufficiency and economic opportunity programs and demonstrations that target tenants of public and assisted housing or low- and moderate-income residents of certain geographic areas; (2) according to HUD officials, 17 of these programs are considered self-sufficiency programs or demonstrations and 6 are considered economic opportunity programs; (3) self-sufficiency programs are designed to help residents become economically independent; (4) economic opportunity programs are geared toward revitalizing low- and moderate-income neighborhoods and creating jobs; (5) of the 23 programs, 8 received funding from HUD's fiscal year 1997 funding, 10 remain active using funding from previous fiscal years, and 5 are eligible for funding from other HUD programs; (6) HOPE VI and EDSS have some limited programmatic linkages with the other self-sufficiency and economic development programs that GAO identified; (7) both HOPE VI and EDSS are broad-based grant programs that, among other things, fund a variety of supportive services, such as child care, job training, and family counseling services and encourage coordinating and partnering with other self-sufficiency programs; (8) HOPE VI and EDSS have some funding linkages with HUD's other self-sufficiency and economic development programs; (9) the funding linkages GAO found varied from year to year and typically occurred through the appropriations process when the Congress approved using a portion of the funding from one program to fund another--commonly known as a set-aside--or when HUD used funds from one program to fund and support another allowable activity; and (10) EDSS also has funding linkages with other self-sufficiency and economic development programs.