Resident Empowerment Program Gains Traction in Public Housing

Alhambra, September 20, 2023 – The Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA) and its Carmelitos Public Housing site has seen many successes through the Jobs Plus Program over the past three years that it has been in operation. The Program offers a variety of workshops and outreach events aimed at connecting residents with employment resources. To date, 165 residents have enrolled and benefited from the Program.

Originally announced in February 2020, the Program did not begin until July 2020 due to the immediate effects of the pandemic. The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, who awarded a $1.8 million grant to the LACDA, specifically for the Carmelitos Public Housing site. The Program is operated through the Carmelitos Resident Empowerment through Achievement Training and Education (C.R.E.A.T.E.) Center, where staff guide residents seeking assistance with employment services, including resources like computers, printers, and technical assistance.

Residents enroll in the Program and once they gain employment, are concurrently enrolled in the Jobs Plus Earned Income Disregard (JPEID). The JPEID credit allows residents to begin earning income without their rent immediately increasing as well. One resident who enrolled in the Program, gained employment, a promotion, and soon thereafter, moved out of Carmelitos. Another Camelitos resident, gained part-time employment after an employment gap. The resident was subsequently promoted to full-time employment and more recently, to Shift Supervisor.

With the help from C.R.E.A.T.E. staff, another resident applied to and was accepted by California State University – Dominguez Hills to further their education. Additionally, two residents were connected with resources to receive record expungement services. Of the two, one is now employed, and another resident has since passed background checks for employment.

“Programs like Jobs Plus are crucial for our families in public housing,” said Emilio Salas, LACDA Executive Director. “I’m glad that so many residents can benefit from this Program and ultimately succeed in the goals they set for themselves. I am proud of our staff for the support and dedication that they give Carmelitos families. Their ground level work ultimately helps Build Better Lives and Better Neighborhoods.”

For more information about the LACDA’s Public Housing Program, please call (626) 262-4510.