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.

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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.

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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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