What is FSS?
FSS (Family Self-Sufficiency) is a 5 year program designed to help participants achieve economic self-sufficiency goals. DHA has provided the FSS program for over 19 years and during that time participants have earned over three million dollars!
The goal of the FSS program is to encourage economic self-sufficiency through employment. When a resident enters the program they sign a Contract of Participation which denotes their current income and rent. When a participant’s rent increases above this amount due to an increase in earned income the difference is deposited into an escrow account.
FSS Coordinators provide case management, referrals to outside agencies, job readiness training and assistance, and financial fitness services for low-income families living in Section 8 or Public Housing. FSS Coordinators monitor a participants’ achievements and goals and provide guidance to help them continue to progress towards self-sufficiency.
How does a participant receive funds from their escrow account?
Participants in the program must attain certain goals to graduate the program and “cash-out” the funds in their escrow. The following goals are required of all participants:
· Maintain employment at least 32-hours per week or more for at least 6 consecutive months prior to requesting a cash-out.
· Household income must be at least 150% of Federal Poverty Level.
· Participant must repair credit to a self-sufficient level:
o Recommended credit score of 620 or
o Provide verification of three forms of non-traditional credit.
· Debt Reduction that meets the following:
o Contractually obligated debts can be no more than 15% of Gross Monthly income.
o Derogatory debts are reduced by 25% of initial debt reported on credit report.
· No one in the household may receive TANF cash assistance 12 month prior to requesting cash out.
FSS Program Successes
Since the program began at DHA 394 residents have successfully completed the program and cashed out escrow funds. Several participants have earned over $35,000 in their FSS escrow account! Many FSS Program participants have gone on to purchase a home with assistance from DHA’s Homeownership Program
For more information on the Family Self-Sufficiency Program, call 720-956-3817, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or click below for an overview of the FSS programs.
For an overview of FSS programs Click Here