What is the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program?
FSS is a voluntary program, which helps families obtain the skills they need to achieve financial independence. Support is offered to participating families through local agencies, case management, education, job training, newsletters, workshops, support meetings, and other appropriate services to assist the family.
How does the program work?
All FSS participants must currently be a participant of the Section 8 Voucher Program. A coordinator is assigned to assist the family with referrals to the agencies which will perform the hands-on services. The coordinator will discuss the family’s goals and expectations prior to formulating an Individual Training and Services Plan designed to meet the family’s self-sufficiency goals. A formal Contract of Participation is signed between the family and the Housing Authority.
What are the BENEFITS?
An escrow savings account will be established in your name when you have an increase in earned income. A portion of the increase in the family’s rent due to the increase in earned income will be credited to the FSS escrow saving account in accordance with HUD requirements. The money in the savings account is paid to you when you complete the Contract of Participation.
What are the OBLIGATIONS under FSS?
The FSS participant by signing the Contract of Participation agrees to comply with all rules and regulations of the Housing Choice Voucher Program. In addition, the participant must agree to maintain regular contact with the FSS Coordinator and attend workshops when scheduled. Participants must actively seek to accomplish their goals within the five-year term of the contract. Participants must be enrolled in an educational component, employed, or actively seeking full-time permanent employment.
Can I continue to receive Rental Assistance after termination from the FSS Program?
Yes, if the family is unable to become self-sufficient at the end of the term of the contract, the family will retain its current Section 8 subsidy and will no longer be considered an FSS participant.
Participants who complete the FSS program may use their savings (Escrow Accounts) for a variety of opportunities:
- Purchasing a home
- Returning to school
- Purchasing a vehicle
- …and much more!
You have five years to complete your goals and achieve Self-sufficiency under the FSS contract. When the contract expires and you have achieved your goals the money in the Escrow Account will be paid to you.
Alternately, the FSS contract can end automatically when your income has risen to the point where you are no longer eligible to receive Section 8 Rental Assistance, based on your family size. At that time you would receive the accumulated escrow savings in your account.
For more information contact: FSS Coordinator, 870-336-9608. Monday – Thursday 8:00 – 4:30 p.m. JURHA, 330 Union, Jonesboro, AR 72401.
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