Section 3 / MWSBE Certification


Section 3 Workers and Businesses

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.

Section 3 Mobile Certification

The Section 3 certification is now mobile! Have our team certify your workers onsite today!

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Information for Workers

A Section 3 Worker is any individual who currently fits, or when hired within the past five (5) years fits, at least one of the following categories:

  • The worker’s income for the previous or current calendar year is below HUD income limits ; or
  • The worker is employed by a Section 3 Business Concern; or
  • The worker is a YouthBuild participant.

For more details, please refer to the Section 3 Worker Application Checklist and FAQs (Español ). For questions, call 832-394-6200 or email HCDSection3@houstontx.gov

Information for Businesses

Businesses can apply for Section 3 certification if they are:

  • 51% owned and controlled by low-income person(s); or
  • 75% of business labor hours are performed by low-income persons; or
  • 51% owned and controlled by current public housing residents or residents who currently live in Section 8 assisted housing

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 (Español ).


Minority- and Woman-owned Small Business Enterprises (MWSBE)

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 hcd-mwsbe@houstontx.gov.

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


Engage to Excel!

HCD 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.


Key Links and Additional Resources


Section 3 Brochure
Section 3 Brochure
Document Name Applicable to Last Updated View
Worker Application Section 3 Workers 10/10/2023
Worker Directory Section 3 Workers 01/26/2024 View
Champion Scorecard Section 3 Workers 04/05/2022
Compliance Forms Packet Section 3 Workers 11/06/2023 View
Section 3 Worker Application Checklist and FAQs Section 3 Workers 10/10/2023
Section 3 Brochure Section 3 Workers 06/15/2022
MWSBE Trifold MWSBE 06/03/2022
Community Involvement Trifold All 04/16/2021
Pre-Award Services Trifold All 04/20/2021
Pay or Play Program Trifold All 04/19/2021
Portfolio Compliance Trifold All 04/21/2021
Section 3 Technical Assistance Training Presentation
Section 3 Technical Assistance
Document Title Language Last Updated View
Contract Compliance Technical Assistance Training Video English 09/20/2023 View
Section 3 Technical Assistance Training Presentation English 09/26/2023 View
Pay or Play Technical Assistance Training Presentation English 09/26/2023 View
MWSBE Technical Assistance Training Presentation English 09/26/2023 View
Pre Award Services Technical Assistance Training Presentation English 09/26/2023 View
Portfolio Compliance Technical Assistance Training Presentation English 04/26/2023 View