SEATTLE (AP) — Nine public and tribal housing authorities in Washington state, Oregon and Idaho have been awarded $2.4 million in grants.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant is designed to help agencies hire staff to help residents find jobs, get an education and attain financial self-sufficiency.

The awards were part of a $34.8 million grant that went to 118 housing authorities in 34 states.

HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Jeff McMorris says beyond providing families with a safe, decent, affordable place to live, the best thing publicly-assisted housing can do is to serve as a launching pad to help residents acquires skills and economically independent.

Idaho received about $487,000; Oregon got $984,000 and Washington state was awarded almost $930,000.