HACE is Celebrating its 85th Anniversary

ELIZABETH – Feb. 1, 2021 – The Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth (HACE) has launched their new Jobs Plus Program thanks to a $2.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). View the link to the full launch event on HACE’s website here: https://hacenj.com/media/events/hace-jobs-plus-virtual-launch-event.

“I am so excited to bring this innovative and life-changing program to the residents of Mravlag Manor,” said LaChelle Thompson, Jobs Plus Program Director. “There is power in the Jobs Plus program and it can take them on the journey to changing their lives for the better.”

The launch event took place online in the form of a livestream on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for the community to safely take part in. The event introduced the program to the residents of Mravlag Manor and talked about how it would be useful to the community, with benefits such as the ability to advance in careers and maintaining job security. LaChelle Thompson was the moderator of the event and live guests included:

  •         Justin Scheid, HUD Newark Field Office Director
  •         Maria-Lana Queen, HUD Jobs Plus Program Grant Manager
  •         Meredith Barracato, Union County American Job Center Program Administrator
  •         Margaret Church, LSW, HACE Jobs Plus Case Manager
  •         Cathy Hart, HACE Deputy Executive Director
  •         William D. Jones, HACE Executive Director

HUD’s Jobs Plus Program provided $2.3 million to the Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth to facilitate work-readiness training, financial counseling, and educational resources,” said Justin Scheid, HUD Newark Field Office Director. “The HACE was also selected to be part of the ConnectHome initiative, that provides low-cost internet, devices, and digital literacy training to its residents, so necessary during the COVID-19 crisis. These opportunities will allow residents of Elizabeth to take advantage of opportunities and prepare for the future of our economy.”  

The Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth was one of nine housing authorities in the nation to receive a grant for the Jobs Plus Program from HUD in 2020. The program will allow residents of Mravlag Manor to receive educational and vocational training with an emphasis on in-demand industries. Partnering with several companies and organizations, residents in the Jobs Plus program have access to a variety of career and financial resources and tools. Program partners include the Union County American Job Center – Elizabeth, Boxwood Learning Center, Bridgeway Rehab, Elizabeth Development Company, Elizabeth Public Library, E-Town Housing and Community Development, Investors Bank, Jewish Family Services, Mravlag Manor Resident Association, New Jersey Travel Independence Program, Prevention Links, PROCEED Inc, Union County Office of Social Services, Urban League of Union County, and Urban League of Union County Young Professionals.

“It is our hope that the collective resources coming to Mravlag through the JOBS PLUS grant can help all our residents, young and old, to identify their passions and set their course for success;  to assist our working residents to increase their earnings and start saving;  to remove barriers for all adults trying to enter or re-enter the workforce; and most importantly celebrate and support each of our residents in their path toward sustainable work,” said William D. Jones, Executive Director of the Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth.

Mravlag Manor is home to 414 households with 79 percent of residents qualifying as extremely low income or less, and 54 percent of residents without any earned income from employment. Michael Buckley, Mravlag Manor manager said, “All too often, families residing in public housing are faced with a difficult decision that alters their future: ‘Do I secure a career and long-term financial stability?’ OR “Do I turn down employment opportunities to avoid my rent increasing in the short term?” Through an income disregard, the Jobs Plus program allows individuals the freedom of workplace advancement without having to make this decision. I’m eager to not only assist residents obtain this income disregard, but to be a pillar of support throughout the program.”

For more information on HACE’s Jobs Plus Program, contact LaChelle Thompson, Jobs Plus Program Director at 908-965-2400 ext.153 or email jobsplus@hacenj.com


About the Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth

Since its formation in 1938, the Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth has worked diligently to meet the housing needs and improve the quality of life for all the residents it serves. The Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth is responsible for over 1350 units of public housing and delivers a broad range of services ranging from social, economic, educational, and redevelopment. For more information about HACE, visit www.hacenj.com.


About the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. More information about HUD and its programs is available online at www.hud.gov and www.espanol.hud.gov.