Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) is a HUD program that enables families assisted through the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program and Public Housing (PH) residents, and residents of Indian housing assisted under the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA) to increase their earned income and reduce their dependency on welfare assistance and rental subsidies.
Once an eligible family is selected to participate in the program, an FSS case manager and the head of each participating family execute a 5-year FSS Contract of Participation that specifies the rights and responsibilities of both parties and the goals and services for the family. The family works with the case manager to be connected to services to assist with completing their goals. The term of the contract may be extended for up to two years if there is good cause for the extension, such as serious illness or involuntary loss of employment. Participants may also successfully graduate in less than five years.
Some of the services coordinated through the program include transportation, education, job training, employment counseling, financial literacy, and homeownership counseling.
If and when the family’s rent increases as a result of increased earned income, FSS participants may earn an interest-bearing escrow account established by the PHA on behalf of the FSS family where deposits are made throughout the duration of the family’s participation in the FSS program. A family may receive a portion of the escrow account during the term of the contract if the PHA determines that the family has fulfilled certain interim goals established in the contract and requires a portion of the FSS escrow account funds for purposes consistent with the contract of participation. If a family fulfills all of their obligations under the contract on or before the expiration of the contract, they can receive all the funds in its FSS escrow account.
For more information and descriptions about the Family Self Sufficiency Program and associated federal regulations, click on the links below: