The Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS) is a voluntary program for all Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) holders who wish to improve their financial situation, eliminate their dependence on public assistance and are motivated to changing their lives. Any HCV holder meeting these requirements are eligible for the FSS Program, however; the availability of an escrow account is dependent on whether the family is considered a very low or low income family.
Families are offered a ladder of opportunity to achieve economic independence for themselves and their families.
PCHA partners with agencies and businesses throughout the community to coordinate services for participants. Services might include assistance with child care, educational and vocational training, transportation, development or employability and business skills, job placement, financial counseling, personal money management, and homeownership.
Each FSS participant signs a Contract of Participation (COP) and creates a maximum five (5) year Individual Training and Service Plan (ITSP) that includes employment goals and identifies training or education needs. There may be many barriers on the road to self-sufficiency. For this reason, an FSS Coordinator works with each family individually to identify, locate and arrange the services they need to accomplish their respective goals.
During the term of the COP, PCHA will establish an interest-bearing escrow account. The FSS escrow account offers the family the opportunity to save for the future. The amount of the escrow account reflects what would normally be an increase in the rent due to an increase in the family’s earned income. As the participant earns more income and pays higher rent amounts, the escrow account increases. If the family meets its goals within five years and remains free of cash assistance for a period of one year, they will receive the funds in their escrow account. The family may use their escrow funds without restriction.