FSS: Family Self-Sufficiency
The Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) program helps Affordable Workforce Housing and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program residents achieve economic independence and self-sufficiency through training and employment.
Individuals and families can save money in escrow accounts as earned income grows. If the resident's rent increases (as a result of earned income increase), NSBH may deposit funds in an interest-bearing escrow account. If the participant completes the program successfully, they may use funds toward personal goals. Common personal goals may include paying off bills, purchasing a car, purchasing a home, obtaining a GED and/or college degree, or starting a small business.
FSS Coordinators work with participants to develop a five-year Individual Training and Services Plan (ITSP) that will help them acquire the education and skills necessary to attain gainful employment, increase their earned income, and no longer receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash benefits.
The FSS Coordinator encourages and directs residents toward success: a recent study showed that FSS participants' incomes increased by just over $6,300 more than similar local PHA residents who were not in the FSS program! The reason is that residents who increase their income see the increase in their rental payment put aside into an escrow account so that they will have a nest egg to achieve their goals (for example to buy a house, car, or to go to college) during or at the end of the program.
What is FSS? Watch the video here.