Section 3 M/WBE

What is Section 3?

It is the policy of the United States Congress, and the purpose of this Section 3 policy, to ensure that the employment and other economic opportunities generated by federal financial assistance for housing and community development projects shall, to the greatest extent feasible, be directed toward low- and very-low-income persons or businesses, particularly those residents who are recipients of government assistance for housing. Construction projects that are financed in whole or in part by federal HUD funds are subject to Section 3 subcontracting requirements. 

Who are Section 3 residents?

Residents of public housing or low-income persons who live in the greater metropolitan area in which a HUD-assisted project is located.

What is a Section 3 business?  
A business that:

  • is owned by Section 3 residents; or
  • employs Section 3 residents in full-time positions (30% or more of employees); or
  • subcontracts with businesses (at least 25%) which provide economic development opportunities to low-income persons.

Who will award the economic opportunities?

Recipients of HUD financial assistance and their contractors and subcontractors are required to provide economic opportunities to the greatest extent feasible, consistent with existing Federal, State, and local laws and regulations.       

How can Employers find Section 3 residents to work for them?

By recruiting in the neighborhood and public housing developments to inform residents about available training and job opportunities.  By posting signs, distributing flyers, placing ads, and contacting residents, community development, and employment organizations to find workers.

What types of economic opportunities are available under Section 3?

The preference created for a Section 3 resident does not ask subcontractors or contractors to hire any person who is not suitable for the position available. Also, permanent employees of a contractor are not to be laid off to make room for Section 3 employees. The Section 3 requirements apply to new positions generated. However, it does require the employer to actively seek out into the labor and business potential that exists in low-income neighborhoods.

Examples of Section 3 opportunities:


  • Accounting
  • Bookkeeping
  • Word processing
  • Research
  • Payroll
  • Purchasing


  • Landscaping
  • Catering
  • Carpet installation
  • Manufacturing
  • Printing
  • Janitorial
  • Transportation
  • Appliance repair


  • Architecture
  • Surveying
  • Electrical
  • Cement/masonry
  • Heating/air
  • Fencing
  • Tile setting
  • Painting
  • Carpentry
  • Bricklaying
  • Plastering
  • Demolition
  • Ironworks

Goals and Section 3 Compliance

Compliance with Section 3 goals may be accomplished by new employment opportunities, training opportunities, or by contracting opportunities for Section 3 businesses. Please contact us for more information at 336-397-7932.   

Section 3 Application - To apply for Section 3 certification please visit our office.  As Section 3 is an income-based program you must have business and personal income tax information to verify eligibility before certification can be complete. In some cases, payroll information may also be required to certify eligibility. Because of this income eligibility requirement the Section 3 certification must be verified for each job. Please contact the Development Office for further information. 

Section 3 List of Certified Businesses [pdf/1mb/4p] 

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