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Family Self-Sufficiency

What is the Housing Choice Voucher Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program?

Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) is a HUD program that encourages communities to develop local strategies to help voucher families obtain employment that will lead to economic independence and self-sufficiency.

The goal of the program is to assist families in overcoming the obstacles that keep them from being self-sufficient. This may mean job training, education, homeownership counseling, budgeting, working on credit issues, etc.

Who is eligible?

Any family now being assisted on the Section 8-housing program who want to become economically self-sufficient is eligible. Families living in out-lying counties must be able to come to our office in Middleton.

How does the FSS program work?

This is a volunteer program. The FSS Coordinator assists families in taking a realistic look at their situations to see what they will need to do to become self-sufficient. One does not need to be employed to enroll into the program, but obtaining suitable employment will be a required goal to complete the program. The family then sets goals and develops a plan of action. After deciding their goals, the Head of Household signs a Contract of Participation. This is an agreement to work towards permanent employment and self-sufficiency.

What is the incentive to sign up for the program?

As a family's goals are accomplished and they start to pay more towards their rent, an amount comparable to their rent increase is deposited into an escrow/savings account for them if the increase in rent is due to earned income. When the family successfully completes their goals and fulfills their obligations in the contract, they will receive the money in the account.

Do you want to own a home in the future?

Many of our families who complete the FSS program use the escrow funds to purchase a home. After being on the program for three years, one recent graduate found that all their hard work paid off when their dream of owning a house became a reality. This family had worked hard to find a good job, set up a budget, repair their credit and they received $8,450 to use as a down payment towards their new home.

For more information regarding the FSS program, please contact Yadira Aquilera, FSS Coordinator at 585-9325 ext. 15.

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