HUD Section 3 Image

Section 3 is a provision of the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Act of 1968.  Section 3 requires recipients of certain HUD financial assistance to direct employment and contracting opportunities to low and very-low income persons and businesses residing in the community, where the project is located, to the greatest extent feasible. 


Section 3 policies apply to Vancouver Housing Authority projects and situations as indicated below:

  1. All construction Projects
  2. All Projects

Who are Section 3 Residents?

  • Residents of Public and Indian Housing; or
  • Persons who live in the Portland metropolitan area or nonmetropolitan county and who earn 80% or less of the area median family income, based on household size.

What is a Section 3 Business Concern?
A business that:

  • Is 51% owned by Section 3 Residents; or
  • Employs Section 3 Residents, for at least 30% of its full-time, permanent staff; or
  • Provides evidence of commitment to subcontract 25% or more of the dollar amount of the awarded contract to Section 3 Businesses.

At the VHA, we may also apply this preference to contracts funded through non-HUD sources.

For Section 3 Questions Contact: Bridgette Fahnbulleh (360) 993-9556


Business Roster Solicitation
The VHA is soliciting low-income businesses in Clark County to include in its roster of Section 3 businesses.  The Section 3 program provides opportunities for qualified low-income-owned businesses to receive preference for HUD-funded contracts. The VHA has elected to use the Section 3 preference in all of its contracting.  A business qualifies as Section 3 if owned by VHA residents or; 51% of the ownership is low-income or; 30% of full-time employees are low-income. The VHA has construction and non-construction opportunities.  To see if your business qualifies, please contact Bridgette Fahnbulleh at 993-9556 or email  Equal Opportunity Employer


Click the links below to learn more about the VHA Section 3 Program:

 Section 3 Businesses in Clark County

Disclaimer: Please be advised that while the VHA is providing the following list of businesses that have self-identified as Section 3 business concerns, the VHA makes no representation to the quality of work or  that these businesses continue to qualify as a Section 3 business concern under relevant federal regulations' at the time any project is bid.  It is the bidders sole responsibility to determine whether any proposed subcontractor qualifies as a Section 3 business concern; is licensed to work in Washington; and is not debarred from Federal or State work.

Section 3 Businesses in Clark County


Contracts Under $2,000, Clark County

The Building Industry Association of Clark County has a website you might find helpful when looking to sub out work under $2,000. The BIA is the region’s leading building industry and small business advocate.

Their web site is


Section 3 Businesses in Portland

A list of Section 3 businesses in Portland can be found by clicking this link: Portland Section 3 Businesses.


Section 3 - Non-compliance procedure

Any Contractor who fails to make a positive effort to meet the hiring and contracting goals described in the Section 3 Plan may be determined to be non-compliant. After a determination by VHA that the Contractor has failed to comply with the Section 3 terms of their contract, VHA shall serve notice of such non-compliance to the Contractor or its representative. The Contractor shall be responsible for notifying any subcontractor(s) who is not in compliance.

Upon request, the Contractor determined to be non-compliant shall meet with VHA within five (5) working days of written notice in order to determine a method of correcting the deficiencies and determining the time period within such remedy shall be effective. If remedy is not agreed upon within five (5) days of the required notice, VHA shall prescribe the remedy by which deficiencies shall be corrected and notify the Contractor in writing of such a determination. If the Contractor does not correct the deficiencies in the manner as directed by VHA within thirty (30) calendar days VHA may impose any or all of the following sanctions:

  • Withholding payments;
  • Termination for default or suspension of contract; or
  • Placing the Contractor on a list of Contractors who fail to comply with VHA Section 3.


Who receives priority under Section 3?

Category 1 – Section 3 Resident:  Residents of the housing development(s) in which the Section 3 Covered Project is located.

Category 2 – Section 3 Resident:  Residents of other low income housing developments managed by the VHA. 

Category 3 – Section 3 Resident:  Participants in HUD Youthbuild program being carried out in the Section 3 project boundary area.

Category  4 - My family meets the Low (80%) Income Limits of Clark County


How does Section 3 affect bidding preferences?

Preference will be given in the bidding process to Section 3 Business Concerns (see section below). Therefore, all prospective bidders are advised that although any qualified business may submit a bid for the proposed contract, qualified, responsible Section 3 Business Concerns will receive preference in the ranking if:

  • That bid is within the total estimated budget amount for the proposed contract, and
  • The bid is no more than the lesser of the percentage or dollar amount shown below of the lowest responsive bid from any (i.e. non-section 3 business) qualified responsible bidder:

Lowest responsive bid < $100,000:  10% of that bid or $9,000
Lowest responsive bid is:

  • At least $100,000, but less than $200,000:  9% or $16,000
  • At least $200,000, but less than $300,000:  8% or $21,000
  • At least $300,000, but less than $400,000:  7% or $24,000
  • At least $400,000, but less than $500,000:  6% or $25,000
  • At least $500,000, but less than $1 million:  5% or $40,000
  • At least $1 million, but less than $2 million:  4% or $60,000
  • At least $2 million, but less than $4 million:  3% or $80,000
  • At least $4 million, but less than $7 million:  2% or $105,000
  • $7 million or more:  1-1⁄2% of the lowest responsive bid, with no dollar limit.


What are contractor obligations after bid award under Section 3?

  1. SECTION 3 CONTRACTORS ONLY - A completed section 3 business profile and certification form certifying that they qualify as a Section 3 Business Concern. This form must be notarized. The VHA Section 3 Coordinator may contact you to obtain further information regarding your qualification as a Section 3 Business Concern. 
  2. ALL CONTRACTORS - A completed section 3 opportunities action plan (attachment b). A sample plan is included. If you have questions regarding this Action Plan, please contact the VHA Section 3 Coordinator.


After contract approval, ALL CONTRACTORS MUST:

Provide a monthly Section 3 opportunities report (This form is available in electronic format if desired).


How will the VHA assist contractors meeting Section 3 requirments?


The VHA Section 3 Staff will assist contractors with little or no experience in achieving Section 3 hiring and contracting goals by: 
 •     Requiring the contractor to present a list of the number of employment opportunities expected to be generated from the initial contract and related subcontracts, the duration of the positions, minimum qualifications, rate of pay and other pertinent information. 
•     Providing the contractor with a list of interested and qualified VHA tenants through notices and other vehicles that inform VHA tenants of job opportunities.  The contractor will be responsible for identifying and certifying Section 3 residents that are not VHA residents.   
•     Informing the contractor of known issues that might impact known Section 3 VHA residents’ abilities to perform certain job related duties.

It is not intended for contractors and subcontractors to terminate existing employees, but rather to make Every effort feasible to employ Section 3 eligible participants before any other person when hiring 
Additional employees needed to complete proposed work.



Only residents meeting the minimum qualifications of the contractor or subcontractor will be referred to the job site.

Employee problems should first be discussed directly between the employee and the contractor or subcontractor. If the concern is not resolved at this level, the contractor or subcontractor should contact the Section 3 Coordinator for assistance. The Section 3 Coordinator must be contacted prior to terminating a Section 3 new hire. Ultimately, however, if a VHA resident referred to a contractor or subcontractor does not perform satisfactorily his/her employment will be subject to termination, in the contractor’s sole reasonable discretion.


How can I contact the VHA section 3 Staff?

Bridgette Fahnbulleh, the VHA Section 3 Coordinator may be contacted by phone at (360) 993-9556 or by email at She is available to assist you with any questions you may have regarding your Section 3 obligations.


PowerPoint Presentation on Section 3
HUD Section 3 PowerPoint Presentation
2013 Income Limits 
Section 3 Federal Regulations 



New Hire Checklist Outreach
Section 3 Outreach Plan for Section 3 Business
Section 3 Monthly Compliance Form
Section 3 Resident Certification Form 
Section 3 Monthly Summary Report
How to become a  Section 3 Business