Section 3

What is Section 3?
Section 3 is a requirement outlined in the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Act of 1968.  It applies to federal funds such as Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Home Investment Partnership Program (HOME) that are used for construction or construction-related projects.  The purpose of Section 3 is to provide employment and economic opportunities to low-income individuals and businesses, to the greatest extent feasible.

What does this mean?
The City and organizations that receive CDBG funds for construction or construction-related projects will take steps to notify low-income residents or businesses that employ or are owned by low-income residents about new employment or contracting opportunities.  Section 3 eligible projects can include the construction or rehabilitation of housing, public construction projects (i.e. street repair, sewer line repair) or other covered construction or rehabilitation projects (i.e. engineering services, design services for public construction).

What is a Section 3 resident?
A Section 3 resident is either a public housing resident or person living in the Denver Metro area whose household income is at or below 80% of the Area Median Income, set by HUD annually.  To view the current income limits, visit the HUD Program Income Limits website under Additional Resources.  

What is a Section 3 Business?
A Section 3 Business is a business that can provide evidence that it meets at least one of the following three criteria:

  • 51% or more of the business is owned by individuals who qualify as Section 3 residents; or
  • At least 30% of the full-time employees currently qualify as Section 3 residents; or
  • Sub-contracts more than 25% of the CDBG funds to another business(es) that meets one of the two qualifications above.

What is the purpose of becoming a Section 3 Business?  
By registering as a Section 3 Business, your company will receive updates on new contracting opportunities and training within Thornton.  Additionally, with your authorization, your business' information will be passed along to other agencies required to abide by Section 3.  This will enable your business to receive updates on contracting and training opportunities throughout the entire Denver metro area.

How do I register as a Section 3 Business?
Registering as a Section 3 Business is easy. All you need to do is verify that your business meets at least one of the three eligibility criteria listed above, complete the Section 3 Business Certification (located on the right side of this page) and submit it and any supporting documentation to the City of Thornton Grant Coordinator at  

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also has a national Section 3 Business Registry, which is a searchable online database of Section 3 Businesses.  Businesses can submit an online application to HUD to self-certify that they meet the definition of a Section 3 business.  To learn more about HUD's Section 3 Business Registry, visit