Family Self-Sufficiency Program
What is the FSS Program?
The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program is a program that enables HUD-assisted families to increase their earned income and reduce their dependency on welfare assistance and rental subsidies.
The Housing Authority of Malheur & Harney County work in collaborating with a Program Coordinating Committee (PCC) to secure commitments of public and private resources for the operation of the FSS program, to develop the Housing Authority’s FSS Action Plan, and to implement the program.
How does the program work?
Once an eligible family is selected to participate in the program, the Housing Authority, and the head of each participating family execute a FSS Contract of Participation that specifies the rights and responsibilities of both parties. The term of the FSS contract is generally 5 years, but it may be extended for another 2 years by the Housing Authority for good cause.
The FSS contract also incorporates the family’s individual training and services plan (ITSP). The ITSP is the document that record the plan for the family. That is, the series of intermediate and long-term goals and the steps the family needs to take- and the services and resources they may need to access-to achieve those goals.
Some of the services coordinated through the program include: childcare, transportation, education, job training, employment counseling, financial literacy, and homeownership counseling, among others. Services are generally not provided by the Housing Authority, but rather outsourced to service providers in the community.
An interest-bearing escrow account is established by the Housing Authority for each participating family. Any increase in the family’s rent as a result of increased earned income during the family’s participation in the program result in a credit to the family’s escrow account. Once a family graduates from the program, they may access the escrow and use it for any purpose.
FSS participants graduate from the program when the head of household obtains full-time employment, allowing the family to become financially self-sufficient.
For additional information contact Maribel Ramirez at (541) 889-9661 ext. 104.