Thousand Oaks, CA — Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D – Westlake Village) announced that the County of Ventura and communities in the region will receive nearly $300,000 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for critical job training, job counseling, and education benefits through the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program.

“These funds will help families across Ventura County who are receiving housing assistance to become economically self-sufficient through access to job training and connections to sustainable employment opportunities,” said Congresswoman Brownley. “Not only will expanding access to job and education resources help these families become economically self-sufficient but it will also help local businesses find local workers to fill the skilled jobs necessary to thrive and compete in a 21st century economy.”

“We’re thrilled to get this funding and be able to continue the Family Self-Sufficiency program. Since 1994, we’ve graduated 139 people from the program and all are employed full-time. Additionally, 18 people have become full-time homeowners,” said Douglas Tapking, Executive Director of the Area Housing Authority of the County of Ventura.

“The Oxnard Housing Authority is excited to be able to continue to support our Family Self-Sufficiency program. We are looking forward to providing opportunities to even more families with the new funding,” said Carrie Sabatini, Interim Housing Department Director for the City of Oxnard.

“Becoming self-sufficient involves more than just having a job. The FSS program is a comprehensive program that looks at several factors, ranging from childcare and transportation to education and job training, all of which affect an individual’s ability to become economically independent. The Family Self-Sufficiency grant award is an important investment in people and families,” said Denise Wise, CEO of the Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura.

In total, $287,492 will be allocated through HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency Program to three local housing agencies:  the Area Housing Authority of the County of Ventura ($63,600), the Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura ($88,702), and the Oxnard Housing Authority ($135,190). These grants allow public housing agencies to partner with social service agencies, community colleges, businesses, and other regional partners to assist public housing residents and individuals participating in HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program to increase access to critical training and counseling that will allow them to gain marketable skills to gain employment or advance in their current occupation.

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