Ways to Family Self-Sufficiency Inc.
The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program is designed to promote employment and increase savings among families receiving Section 8 vouchers or certificates or living in public housing. There are two main features to FSS: an escrow account and case management. Like most families in public or assisted housing, a participant in the FSS program must pay higher rental payments if her income increases. Unlike most other tenants, however, the FSS participant can get a refund of some or all of increased rental charges if she complies with program rules. If an FSS participant increases her earnings from work, an amount equal to 30 percent of her net increase in income (or 30 percent of her increased earnings, whichever is lower) will be deposited into an escrow account. If the participant graduates successfully from FSS, she will receive all of the funds in her escrow account. If the housing agency agrees, the participant also may withdraw funds from the escrow accounts while still in FSS for certain work-related expenses. However, if she fails to complete the FSS program, the participant loses the funds in the escrow account. Each family in FSS is provided with a case manager. The case manager works with the family to develop an FSS contract and help the family access supportive services in the community. The nature of the services vary from program to program. Among the services that families can access through some FSS programs are child care, transportation, credit and money counseling and educational programs.