PARKERSBURG - The Parkersburg Housing Authority has received a grant to help families in need obtain employment and become economically independent.
The agency received $45,136, part of the $248,300 in federal funding for local housing agencies in West Virginia from the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Housing Choice Voucher family self-sufficiency program. The program helps those receiving vouchers on the path to economic independence by helping them obtain employment.
"Today, too many people struggle just to make ends meet and fall short out of no fault of their own," Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said "This funding helps local agencies give those facing some of the hardest times with the tools and important skills they need to find a job and make a living wage. The services provided by these local partners help put people on the path to independence and a better life for their families."
Funds are distributed to public housing agencies that work with schools, businesses, and other local entities to support programs that give participants skills and experience to help them find employment. In addition to employment assistance, funding can also support child care, transportation, education and job training and counseling.
Also allocated were:
* $13,851, Benwood-McMechen Housing Authority
* $34,028, Clarksburg-Harrison Regional Housing Authority
* $30,936, Greenbrier Housing Authority
* $34,500, Housing Authority of Mingo County
* $22,736, Randolph County Housing Authority
* $30,186, Housing Authority of the City of Fairmont
* $36,960, Huntington West Virginia Housing Authority
The grants were announced by Rockefeller, Sen. Joe Manchin and Rep. Nick Rahall, Democrats from West Virginia.
In other congressional items, Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., reintroduced a bill aimed at streamlining the process to receive Black Lung benefits.
The Burdensome Paperwork Reduction for Our Miners Act would direct the U.S. Secretary of Labor to conduct a review of forms required to obtain benefits under the Federal Black Lung Benefits Program, McKinley said.
"Upwards of 50 pages are required at times merely to apply for the benefits," said McKinley. "That's just wrong, both for our miners who need the benefits and for the taxpayers who foot the cost."