CHICAGO (AP) — Public housing authorities across Illinois are receiving a combined $2.7 million in federal grants to help residents find jobs and become more financially independent.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says the grants are part of $74 million being distributed across the country.

HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency program helps local housing authorities hire service coordinators who work with public housing residents and people who use rental subsidies.

Coordinators connect residents to programs and services that exist in the community to help them find employment, job training or educational opportunities.

People who participate in the program must sign a five-year contract requiring the head of the household to obtain employment. The contract also states no member of the household will receive certain types of public assistance after the five-year term.

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