Section 3
The City of Cincinnati’s Community Development Department is committed to streamlining the development process. From federal and city funding to multifamily and commercial development tax abatements, our city offers a variety of programs to promote the continued development of the Queen City’s skyline.

Section 3 Program

Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 recognizes that HUD funding typically results in projects/activities that generate new employment, training and contracting opportunities. When these opportunities are created, Section 3 requires that preference is provided to low- and very low-income residents of the local community (regardless of race and gender), and the businesses that substantially employ them, for new employment, training and contracting opportunities resulting from the HUD-funded project.


  • Dollar thresholds: contracts over $100,000 are required to comply with Section 3 requirements
  • Section 3 regulations do not require hiring or subcontracting unless it is necessary to the project
  • Section 3 is triggered when covered projects require “new hires” or subcontracting
  • Section 3 is not an entitlement; it is an opportunity for employment, training and contracting opportunities


For all contracts over $100,000 (this includes developer, contractor and subcontractor contracts):

  • 30 percent of the aggregate number of new hires shall be Section 3 Residents
  • 10 percent of all covered construction contracts shall be awarded to Section 3 Business Concerns
  • 3 percent of all covered non-construction contracts shall be awarded to Section 3 Business Concerns

Efforts to meet these goals must be made to the greatest extent feasible and all efforts taken must be documented accordingly.



A public housing resident or an individual who resides in the metropolitan area or Non-metropolitan County in which the Section 3 covered assistance is expended and who is considered to be a low- (80% of AMI) to very low-income (50% of AMI) person. Persons must be certified as Section 3 Residents to count toward the goals listed above. Certification lasts for a period of 3 years.

Business Concern
  • 51 percent or more of the business is owned by Section 3 Residents; or
  • 30 percent of the business’s permanent, full-time employees are certified Section 3 Residents; or
  • The Business provides evidence that it will subcontract 25 percent of the dollars awarded to certify Section 3 Business Concerns.
  • Businesses must be certified as a Section 3 Business Concern to count towards the goals listed above.
Compliance Requirements

Each entity undertaking work under a contract that is $100,000 or more must submit a Section 3 Plan. This plan must include, at a minimum, the General Statement, the Current Workforce Profile and Hiring Plan, Permanent Employee Listing, and reporting of Section 3 initiatives.

Contact Information

For information regarding Resident or Business Concern certification or Section 3 procedures, please contact Shannon Johnson, 513-352-6146 or