The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is committing $24 million to certain qualified Public Housing Authorities (PSAs) help their residents increase their earned income, HUD secretary Julián Castro announced on Friday.

HUD has long been an advocate of assisting public housing residents reach self-sufficiency through improving residents' employment situations. The Jobs-Plus Pilot Program sponsored by HUD supports work readiness and job placement efforts in addition to helping public housing residents find and/or upgrade employment by connecting residents with local employers.

Analysts have shown there is a direct correlation between the housing market and the overall economy; the housing market needs the economy to rebound in order to fully recover, and vice versa. HUDs Jobs-Plus Pilot Program is a step toward helping both housing and the economy recover, and then sustaining that recovery, by putting resources toward improving the earning potential of public housing residents.

"HUD is always looking for innovative ways to help families secure new opportunities and reach their full potential," Castro said. "This funding uses housing as a platform for success by linking public housing residents with the resources they need to access better paying jobs. HUD has a unique role to play in helping folks better their lives. In addition to helping folks secure decent, affordable housing, we are committed to ensuring that their housing serves as a springboard to success."

Castro made the announcement of the funding during a walking tour of a neighborhood in Central Falls, Rhode Island on Friday. He has been focused on advancing policies that create jobs, therefore creating opportunities for Americans, with HUD approaching its 50th anniversary next year.

The Jobs-Plus Pilot Program uses a demonstration program combining training, job placement, and traditional employment with a rent incentive and a place-based investment in building. The program's goal for each family is to improve employment and attain a higher earned income, thus helping families achieve self-sufficiency. Under the program model, PHAs partner with the Department of Labor American Jobs Centers.