On September 29, 2020, HUD published a final rule, Enhancing and Streamlining the Implementation of Section 3 Requirements for Creating Economic Opportunities for Low- and Very Low-Income Persons and Eligible Businesses (85 FR 61524), and a companion notice, Section 3 Benchmarks for Creating Economic Opportunities for Low- and Very Low-Income Persons and Eligible Businesses (85 FR 60907), that outlines the numeric goals for compliance (the “benchmark notice”) in the Federal Register. Prior to the publication of the final rule and benchmark notice, HUD had been operating under the Section 3 interim rule (24 CFR Part 135) which was published in 1994. The final rule at 24 CFR part 75 became effective on November 30, 2020.
Section 3 contributes to the establishment of stronger, more sustainable communities by ensuring that employment and other economic opportunities generated by federal financial assistance for housing and community development programs are, to the greatest extent feasible, directed toward low- and very low-income persons, particularly those who receive government assistance for housing. Section 3 applies to training or employment arising in connection with HUD-funded housing rehabilitation, housing construction, or other public construction projects, and any contracting opportunities arising in connection with both public housing and other Section 3 projects. These opportunities are, to the greatest extent feasible, required to be given to low- and very low-income persons and business concerns that provide economic opportunities to low- or very low-income persons.