Volume 31

Philly Building Philly: Identifying Local Government Best Practices for Improving HUD Section 3 Compliance in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

by Julian R. Lutz

This Note gives an overview of Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968, commonly known as HUD Section 3. Section 3 requires that local governments that receive federal housing funds ensure the jobs and contracts the funds create go to residents of low-income areas. I first discuss HUD Section 3’s contents and legislative history, finding an ambitious mandate to train and contract with residents of low-income areas. Next, I describe HUD’s long struggle to monitor and enforce that mandate and low-income residents’ efforts to self-organize and claim their mandated benefits. Finding little federal enforcement, this Note studies Section 3 compliance and related local hiring laws in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia’s policies, maintained by the City of Philadelphia and the independent Philadelphia Housing Authority, are ambitious but underdeveloped. To find opportunities to improve them, the Note analyzes various cities’ public works local hiring policies and assesses best practices for achieving Section 3’s goals. Finally, the Note argues Philadelphia’s agencies have the potential to effectively coordinate a nation-leading Section 3 policy by setting realistic goals and collaborating with each other and with unions.

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