Section 3/MWSBE Certification

Section 3 Training

Section 3 Residents and Business Concerns

Low-income residents and qualified businesses who can become certified to receive employment and training opportunities.


Minority- and Woman-Owned Small Business Enterprises

Businesses owned by members of disadvantaged groups who can become certified to receive additional contracting opportunities.


Engage to Excel Opportunities

Networking, training, and community building events held by the Housing & Community Development Department.

Section 3

Section 3 is a provision of the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Act of 1968 that helps foster local economic development, small business growth, and individual self-sufficiency. The Section 3 Program requires that projects funded by HUD provide job training, employment, and contracting opportunities to low- and very-low-income residents and local businesses.

Information for Residents

Residents can apply for Section 3 certification if they are:

  • Residents of Houston Housing Authority public housing, OR
  • Houston residents who earn less than 80% of Area Median Income .

If you are interested in applying for Section 3 Certification, get started with the Resident Application (Español ). In addition, applicants must provide:

  • Proof of identification (such as a driver’s license or state ID card)
  • Proof of residency (such as a lease, bank statement with address, or utility bill)
  • Proof of eligibility – documents required here depend on your application.
  • For a full list of required documents, please refer to the Resident Application Checklist (Español ).

When you have collected all these documents, submit your application to For questions, call our office at 832-394-6200.

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Section 3 Resident Map

Section 3 Residents Near You

View the Map Resident Directory

Information for Businesses

Businesses can apply for Section 3 certification if they:

  • Are owned by 51% or more of Section 3 residents, OR
  • Employ Section 3 residents for at least 30% of full-time, permanent staff positions, OR
  • Provide evidence of a commitment to subcontracting existing Section 3 businesses

If you are interested in receiving Section 3 Certification for your business, get started in the Section 3 Management System . In addition to the main application, you will need to provide documentation about your business. You can find a full list of required documents on the Business Concerns Application Checklist.

Please submit your application and supporting documents through the Section 3 Management System. If you have questions, contact us at or by calling our office at 832-394-6200.

Section 3 Business Map

Section 3 Businesses Near You

View the Map

Minority- and Woman-owned Small Business Enterprises

The City of Houston Office of Business Opportunity oversees the certification process for Minority- and Woman-Owned Small Business Enterprises (MWSBEs). Federal- and local-level requirements for contracting require hiring of MWSBEs as well.

Certification as a MWSBE must be completed through the Office of Business Opportunity. However, the Housing and Community Development Department does have its own requirements for sub-contracting MWSBEs.

For questions, call our office at 832-394-6200 or email

Those requirements have been combined with Section 3 guidelines in our Compliance Packets .

View the MWSBE Technical Assistance Training Presentation .

Engage to Excel!

HCDD recognizes that promoting residents and small businesses to make connections helps open employment, training, and contract opportunities. Our team brings vendors and contractors together each month for a variety of events, both out in the community and at our central office at 2100 Travis. Check out our Events Calendar to learn about which events are coming up.

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2100 Travis Street, 9th Floor
Houston, TX 77002