Washington - U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) today announced funding that will help New Jersey families seize control of their economic futures. The Senators announced that New Jersey has been awarded $1. 5 Million by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the Family Self Sufficiency Program (FSS). The largest recipient was the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, set to receive $275,040 in funds.

The Family Self Sufficiency Program helps HUD-assisted renters to increase their own economic security. Specific services provided may include child care, transportation, education, job training, substance/alcohol abuse counseling, household skill training, and homeownership counseling. Additionally, an escrow account is established in the family's name, the contents of which are paid to the head of the family if no member of the family is receiving cash welfare assistance when the FSS contract is completed.

Senator Menendez said, "We are investing in the future, not just housing. In difficult economic times we cannot afford to forget that America's greatest asset is its human potential. These locally administered grants will help New Jersey families gain the traction they need to get on their feet and stay there. Americans are as ready as ever to pull themselves up by the bootstraps - we must do our part by sustaining a nation of opportunities."

Senator Lautenberg, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development said, "This critical federal funding will put New Jersey families on the path to a stronger financial future. Providing hard-working families with resources for transportation, job-training, education and other benefits will benefit the economy and make our communities stronger."