HUD Chief Ben Carson Picks San Diego for EnVision Center on Renter Self-Reliance

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Dr. Ben Carson speaks to national GOP at a recent winter meeting in Coronado.

The San Diego Housing Commission announced Thursday that its Achievement Academy was chosen to become one of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s new EnVision Centers, which promote financial self-reliance among rental assistance recipients.

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EnVision Centers allow federal agencies, state and local governments, nonprofits, faith-based organizations and businesses to come together in a centralized location to provide services for low-income families that receive federal rental assistance.

San Diego’s center will become one of 18 across the country.

“This EnVision Center designation is a recognition of the work the city and the San Diego Housing Commission have been doing to create additional housing opportunities for low-income San Diegans, which is also important to reducing homelessness in our community,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

“This is all about providing the support folks need, and we’re committed to helping individuals and families by identifying skills gaps and creating job training opportunities so they can become more financially self-sufficient.”

The Housing Commission will collaborate with the city and San Diego Workforce Partnership on the local EnVision center. Its ultimate goal will be to help HUD-assisted individuals into the private homeownership and rental market.

The center’s four service areas will include job placement and counseling; GED training, technology and financial literacy; health care; as well as volunteer and mentorship opportunities.

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“Housing assistance should be more than just putting a roof over someone’s head,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “These EnVision Centers offer a more holistic housing approach by connecting HUD-assisted families with the tools they need to become self-sufficient and to flourish.”

HUD will develop tools to track and measure outcomes, according to the Housing Commission.

As it stands Thursday, the Achievement Academy, located in the Housing Commission’s downtown headquarters, offers career planning, job skills and financial education programs. Workshops are free to families that receive federal Section 8 vouchers, or reside in public housing units.

— City News Service

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