The Family Self-Sufficiency Program

The Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS) is a supportive program developed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to assist families receiving a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher in obtaining training, education or services to become economically self-sufficient.

Who is eligible to participate in the FSS Program?

To be eligible to participate in the FSS program you will need to be a Section 8 participant with Way Finders and be motivated to move towards goals that will allow you to become economically stable and be free from cash assistance for 12 consecutive months prior to graduation. 

How does the FSS Program work?

A family participating in the FSS program would continue to receive the Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly Section 8) and would work with a FSS specialist to develop a plan of services needed to become more economically self-sufficient. The family would enter into a contract, which would require them to meet certain obligations within a five-year period. Changes may be made to this contract by mutual agreement. Program requirements would include participation in services in the areas of financial education, post-secondary studies, employment and career planning and preparation for homeownership to help the family to meet their goals.

What are the benefits of participating in the FSS program?

The goal of the FSS program is for you to earn enough money to support your family without public assistance.By participating in the FSS program you will obtain support and guidance to advance your education or obtain a skills training or HiSET (GED), education on credit restoration and support, financial education, and preparation for homeownership. In addition,  As your earnings increase, your rent portion increases as well; HUD places a determined amount of the increased rent into a bank where it is escrowed in your name. Once you have completed your contract goals, you will be a ‘graduate’ and will be awarded whatever money and interest has accrued in this escrow account.

What happens at the end of the program contract?

If, at the end of your contact, you have successfully completed all your goals, have suitable employment, and no one in your family is on any kind of cash public assistance e for 12 consecutive months; you will receive all the money that has accrued in the escrow account on your behalf. Participants often use the savings money for long term goals, such as buying a home or starting a business.

How can I sign up for the FSS Program?

For more information, you may contact economicmobility@wayfindersma.org or 413.233.1670

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