HUD Issues Two Family Self-Sufficiency Guides
To celebrate 25 years of the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program, HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) and Office of Multifamily Housing Programs (Multifamily) each issued FSS guidebooks for their respective programs. The guidebooks provide information about promising practices that may help housing authorities and private owners establish and run effective FSS programs.
FSS helps households who volunteer to participate in the program increase their earnings and build financial capability and assets by providing them with a financial incentive to increase their earnings in the form of an escrow savings account that increases as their earnings increase and case management or coaching to help participants access services that they might need to overcome barriers to employment, strengthen financial capability, and address other challenges.
Some public housing agencies are required to administer FSS programs, while others are not. Congress has appropriated $75 million for PHA FSS programs in recent years. The PHA-tailored guidebook, Administering an Effective Family Self-Sufficiency Program: A Guidebook Based on Evidence and Promising Practices, is at https://www.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/FSS-Program-Guidebook.pdf. And online training based on this guidebook can be found at https://www.hudexchange.info/trainings/courses/family-self-sufficiency-training/.
For private owners of HUD-assisted properties, the Family Self-Sufficiency Program Guidebook for Owners of Project-Based Section 8 Developments can be found at https://www.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/FSS-Guidebook-for-Multifamily-Owners.pdf. This guidebook provides an overview of the FSS program for owners of HUD-assisted multifamily housing and outlines the steps owners need to take to establish and operate an FSS program. There is also a new website that provides owners with comprehensive information on the Multifamily FSS program, including recorded webinars and applicable guidance materials. This website can be found at https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/multifamily-fss/.