President Signs Family Self-Sufficiency Act into Law
On May 24, President Trump signed the Family Self-Sufficiency Act into law. The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Act permanently reauthorizes the program; combines the FSS programs for Housing Choice Vouchers and public housing, which are currently run separately; and expands eligibility to include families in privately owned properties subsidized with HUD project-based rental assistance. The program also offers new services for financial literacy and educational attainment.
Congress created the FSS Program in 1990 to help housing-assistance recipients increase their incomes and build their savings. Since its establishment, the FSS program has enabled families living in public or project-based assisted housing or using Housing Choice Vouchers to access workforce training and other resources to pursue higher paying employment opportunities. Housing Choice Voucher recipients contribute 30 percent of their incomes toward rent and utilities, with the voucher paying the remaining housing costs up to the public housing agency’s payment standard. Typically, as recipients’ incomes rise, so do the rents they must pay. The FSS Program allows households with increasing incomes to place their additional rent contributions in a savings account for future use. The savings are accumulated in an escrow account over a five-year period. If tenants remain employed and do not receive cash assistance for one year, they can use these savings toward their financial goals.