Family Self-Sufficiency Program
What is the Family Self-Sufficiency Program?
The Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS) is a free and voluntary service that helps families on Section 8 achieve economic independence. We partner with Lancaster City and County Housing Authorities to provide this service to families receiving Section 8 housing who are leasing a residence and desire to work toward the following goals of their choice:
How Does it Work?
Participants work with a case manager to assess their strengths, identify barriers, set goals and achieve them.
Program Length and Completion: Families graduate from FSS when they have achieved self-sufficiency - meaning they have not received welfare cash assistance for 12 consecutive months, have met all their FSS goals, and are working an average of 30 hours a week. Families may participate in the FSS program for up to five years. In some cases, FSS may extend the contract for two more years.
The Benefits of Case Management: Each family is partnered with a Case Manager to create a personalized Goal Plan and receives guidance towards achieving their goals. Through the FSS Program, clients can develop job skills and gain the training needed to achieve economic independence. With a case manager as advocate, clients and other adult family members will access the resources needed to achieve short-term and long-term goals.
Escrow Savings Account: As the family increases their income during the program, the 30% of their income they pay for rent increases, decreasing the amount the government must pay. The Housing Authority puts a portion of the rent increase into an escrow savings account and continues to do so each month that the client pays higher rent. When the family accomplishes its goals of self-sufficiency within the period of the FSS contract, they graduate & receive the money in an escrow savings account, which will have earned interest. Clients have received anywhere from several hundred to $36,000.
Purchasing a home: A family choosing to work towards homeownership receives education and step-by-step guidance from their Tabor counselor on the process of purchasing a home, from beginning to end, including one year of post-purchase counseling. Case managers work with families on credit, employment and savings to get them mortgage ready. In addition, families have the option of using their Section 8 assistance voucher toward making mortgage payments for 15 years of a 30-year mortgage.
The Family Self-Sufficiency Program rebuilds lives & communities by encouraging & empowering families on Section 8 Rental Assistance to become self-sufficient.