Family Self-Sufficiency Program is leading the way

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Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program established in 1990 to help tenants of public housing and Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) secure employment that will lead them to economic independence and self-sufficiency.

Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program established in 1990 to help tenants of public housing and Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) secure employment that will lead them to economic independence and self-sufficiency.

The FSS program is voluntary and tenants decide what goals they want to work towards. Many people choose to continue their education, change careers, improve their credit rating, or work toward homeownership. The only two mandatory objectives are:

  • All household members must be independent of social assistance in cash for at least the last 12 months of their participation in the program, and
  • The head of the family must seek and keep suitable employment.

How does this help me save money?

An escrow account is opened for each FSS household. In social housing and HVC, participants pay rent based on a percentage of their household income. FSS participants have the opportunity to take advantage of increased rents in the form of blocked savings. As the HSP participant pursues their goals and increases their income, the amount roughly equal to the rent increase due to the income increase is deposited into the escrow account. Basically, it allows a participant to “save their raise”.

In social housing and HVC, participants will pay more rent as their income increases. The FSS allows participants to “pay for themselves” as they pay their rent. Participants don’t need to wait for this new job to join.

The program is designed to help participants along their journey by providing support and referrals to community resources that can help them achieve their goals.

Real examples

Two GMHA tenants recently graduated from the FSS program with over $ 10,000 in their escrow accounts. A recent graduate, KS said she used the program “as a stepping stone” to achieve her goals. She appreciated that she was saving money without even realizing that she was saving money. She said, “You forget it because you can’t see it. “

During the program, she started using a family budget and explored options for owning her own business. She maintained a stable job and the difference she paid in rent over the years was deposited into an escrow account. She hopes to use her frozen savings for a down payment on her own house. She said, “I just want to give my kids a stability, a structure and a place where they know it’s always going to be ours.”

Another graduate, SS, said the program “forced her to do things she wouldn’t have done otherwise”, referring to clarifying items on her driving record so that she could get her driving record. driver’s license.

Even though she knew she had to do these things, putting the goal on paper and being responsible for it helped her achieve her goal.

She also significantly improved her credit rating during the program.

SS plans to use the money to pay more bills and continue to improve her financial situation.

Do not wait until you have this new job to register. There are advantages to registering while you are unemployed or underemployed. Please call Tracy at 440-286-7413 ext. 102 for more information.


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