FSS: Family Self –Sufficiency

The Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) program is intended to promote the development of local strategies with public and private resources to help eligible families achieve economic independence. The program is open to families participating in the Housing Choice Voucher Program and Public Housing program. The objective of the program is to assist families in obtaining employment that will allow them to become self sufficient, that is, not dependent on welfare assistance.

Participation in the FSS program is voluntary for families and is open to current Housing Choice Voucher Program participants and Public Housing residents. Families entering the FSS program work with an FSS Coordinator to develop goals that will, over a 5-year period, assist in achieving self-sufficiency. These goals may include education, specialized training, job readiness and job placement activities, and career advancement objectives. Goals for each participating family member are set out in Individual Training and Services plans that are attached to the FSS contract of participation. When the family meets its goals and completes its FSS contract, the family becomes eligible to receive funds deposited in an escrow account on its behalf throughout the family’s participation in the FSS program. The amount credited to the family’s escrow account is based on increase in the family’s earned income during the term of the FSS contract.

The full amount of the escrow account in excess of any amount owed to YMHA becomes available to the family when it has fulfilled its obligations under the contract of participation and has certified that no family member is receiving welfare assistance. The amount of the escrow credit is based on increases in the family’s total tenant payment resulting from increases in the family’s earned income during the term of the FSS contract.