"Understanding Section 3" Training Curriculum

Each year the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) invests billions of federal dollars into distressed communities across the country for projects that build and rehabilitate housing, improve a variety of infrastructures, build community centers, and help families achieve stability and advancement. One way that HUD achieves these objectives is through the promotion and administration of Section 3. Section 3 is a provision of the HUD Act of 1968 and is found at 12 U.S.C. 1701u.

Per this statutory language, recipients of HUD funds (i.e. grantees and contractors) ensure that “to the greatest extent feasible,” when certain HUD funds are used to assist housing and community development projects, preference for construction-related training, jobs, and contracting opportunities go to low- and very-low income people and to businesses that are owned by low- and very-low income persons or businesses that hire them. These opportunities are both gender and race neutral.

In order to bolster the capacity of HUD’s funding recipients and Section 3 businesses regarding the Section 3 provision, HUD has developed the Understanding Section 3 training curriculum. The overall objective of the training curriculum is to provide participants with the tools and resources necessary to become well-versed and knowledgeable in this provision of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 and its implementing regulations.

This online, self-directed training curriculum consists of eight modules that cover a variety of Section 3 relevant topics. These modules are designed to assist the user in better understanding the definition of Section 3 and how to comply with its requirements. The Understanding Section 3 training curriculum includes the following eight modules:

  1. Understanding Section 3
  2. Implementation of Section 3 Requirements
  3. Procurement Requirements of Section 3
  4. Grantee Oversight Responsibilities and SPEARS
  5. Compliance and Monitoring
  6. HUD Programs Covered by Section 3
  7. Best Practices
  8. Opportunity Portal

Upon completion of the training modules, the user should have a better understating of the provision and be better positioned to comply with Section 3 requirements and guidance.

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Additional Resources

These supplemental documents and resources assist participants in effectively implementing and carrying out a robust Section 3 program following the completion of this training curriculum.


As an additional training resource and to assist HUD funded contractors, subcontractors and Section 3 businesses better understand how the Small Business Administration (SBA) Surety Bond Guarantee program works, HUD encourages participants to complete the Small Contractors Initiative training.

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Small Contractors Initiative Training

The SBA, through the Office of Surety Bond Guarantee, and HUD, through the Office of Field Policy and Management, have collaborated to develop the Small Contractors Initiative training curriculum. This training curriculum is designed to provide the tools necessary for construction contractors to obtain surety bonds and working capital to better compete for federal contracting opportunities and work.

Available in English and Spanish

View the Small Contractors Initiative Training