Family Self Sufficiency Program
The Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS) is an initiative under the Home-ownership and Opportunity for People Everywhere (HOPE) program begun in 1990. The FSS program is a voluntary program for Section 8 participants. Residents of public housing participate in a similar program. The Program requires that the head of household enter a five-year contract with the PHA during which the family will receive supportive services such as education and job training so they can get off the welfare roll and become full-time employees. While on the program, the PHA establishes an escrow account for the family. When an FSS family pays a higher rent due to a higher income, the difference in increase between the old rent and the new rent is credited to the family's escrow account.
What is the Housing Choice Voucher Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program?
Family self-sufficiency (FSS) is a HUD program that encourages communities to develop local strategies to help voucher families obtain employment that will lead to economic independence and self-sufficiency. Public housing agencies (PHAs) work with welfare agencies, schools, businesses, and other local partners to develop a comprehensive program that gives participating FSS family members the skills and experience to enable them to obtain employment that pays a living wage. A separate program, the public housing FSS program, is available for public housing residents.
What families are eligible to participate in the HCV FSS program?
Families who receive assistance under the HCV are eligible to participate in the FSS program
How do PHAs select families for the FSS program?
PHAs can give a selection preference--for up to 50 percent of its FSS slots--to eligible families with one or more family member enrolled in, or on the waiting list for, an FSS-related service or job placement program. For all other selections, the PHA must use an objective system, such as a lottery. PHAs may screen applicants for interest and motivation to participate in FSS, but may not screen for education, job history, credit rating, marital status, or number of children
Can PHAs require families to participate in FSS?
No. Participation of families in the FSS program is voluntary and cannot be condition of receiving assistance under the housing choice voucher program.
What requirements must a family meet to participate in the FSS program?
The PHA and the head of each participating family execute an FSS contract of participation that specifies the rights and responsibilities of both parties. The 5-year FSS contract specifies goals and services for each family. Family members must fulfill all requirements in order to obtain full benefits
The FSS contract requires that the family comply with the lease, that all family members become independent of welfare, and that the head of the family seek and maintain suitable employment. Possible sanctions for noncompliance with the FSS contract are terminations from the FSS program, forfeiture of the FSS escrow account, withholding or termination of supportive services and termination of housing choice voucher assistance.
If the family completes the contract and no member of the family is receiving cash welfare assistance, the amount of the FSS account is paid to the head of the family. If the PHA terminates the FSS contract, or if the family fails to complete the contract before its expiration, the family's FSS escrow funds are forfeited
Does a family have to give up its rental assistance after the family completes its FSS contract?
No. Although it is hoped that families will no longer need housing assistance upon completion of the FSS program, some families that complete the program will still need assistance for housing. The law provides that a family may complete its FSS contract and receive its escrow while continuing to receive housing assistance under the voucher program.
If you would like more information please contact our Family Self-Sufficient Program Coordinator
3820 Richfield Rd. Flint, Mi 48506
Phone (810) 736-3050 Fax: (810) 736-0158 TTY-TDD (810) 736-7061
Email: Main Mailbox
Here are some of the services we have to help our residents
Phone: (810) 736-3050 Ext. 3139 Email: Frank Woods