WHAT IS FAMILY SELF-SUFFICIENCY PROGRAM (FSS)?
FSS is a program designed to assist Section 8 voucher participants achieve independence from all types of governmental assistance (such as TANF/Cash Assistance, this does not include child support or alimony payments). This is done by providing opportunities for employment, education, home ownership, counseling and other forms of social service skills that are needed to achieve and maintain self- sufficiency.
HOW CAN I BECOME SELF SUFFICIENT?
- Express an interest in this program with your Occupancy Specialist
- Attend an orientation, at the orientation you will complete an application
- Individual interview with the FSS Program Coordinator to assess your needs, desires and goal to become self-sufficient (this is when the signing of the Contract of Participation takes place). You will receive detailed information about this program and the Individual Training and Service Plan generated. This plan lists your goals and the steps that are needed for the achievement of goals within a prescribed timeframe. Your goals may range from obtaining a GED, College Degree, to owning your own business or home.
ARE THERE ANY STIPULATIONS?
YES, the Head of Household must participate in the program for other family members to participate. The participating household members must seek, obtain and maintain employment during the term of the contract. All participating household members must also sign the Contract of Participation and the Individual Training and Service Plan.
ARE THERE ANY BENEFITS OF BECOMING A FSS PARTICIPANT?
YES!! Not only will you learn to be independent of governmental assistance such as TANF, the Housing Authority will open an Escrow Account on your behalf. The account will not be opened until; your rent goes up because you had an increase in your earned income. The amount deposited into this account is usually the difference between what your rent was when you signed the FSS contract and what your rent was increased to after your rent change.
Example: You were paying $100 per month for rent when you signed the contract. You received a raise on your job and your rent went up to $200. The $100 difference is credited to your Escrow account every month. This will change every time your earned income changes. You are still responsible for paying the new rent amount to the Landlord/Owner.
WHEN WILL I BE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE FUNDS FROM THE ESCROW ACCOUNT?
You will be entitled to the full amount of the Escrow account plus the interest, ONLY when you complete your Individual Training and Service Plan (within 5 years with a possible 2 year extension), and all family members remained free of any governmental assistance such as TANF for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the expiration of the contract, as well as you have complied with all the terms of the lease and family obligations under the Section 8 Program.