Galveston Housing Authority

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Family Self Sufficiency

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What is FSS?

The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program is a resource and incentive savings program designed to help a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Head of Household (HOH) and their family members transition towards economic self-sufficiency.

Participation in FSS will:
  • Help address social and economic barriers that prevent families from achieving economic stability;
  • Support and encourage the transition from governmental assistance to financial independence;
  • Assist in securing resources that offer opportunities to complete education and/or vocational goals;
  • Enhance employability skills for better paying jobs and benefits or opportunities to secure promotions;
  • Assist with specialized workshops or programs that can help stabilize the family's financial future so they can achieve their personal goals such as buying a car, starting a business, attending college, homeownership, or other goals.
How does FSS work?

During a 5-year commitment with FSS, the HOH and participating adult members, initiate a plan with FSS staff, to partner with support agencies that can help to receive career/work guidance and support, complete life-coping workshops, learn new methods to rebuild and increase their credit ratings, so they can move forward to achieve their goal of economic stability. In cases where the HCV HOH or an adult member's income increases because of employment that was secured or promotions to better paying jobs and benefits, etc., eligibility for FSS savings escrow will be determined to see if money can be put aside for "FSS escrow savings" that the FSS Participant can use as they choose, while accomplishing their goals. "It's that simple."

Why choose FSS?

Because,there is no risk to you or your family! Staff wants the very best for every family who participates in the FSS Program. Participation in FSS Program is VOLUNTARY! If the HCV HOH or the adult members on their HCV lease do not want to participate in FSS, they will not jeopardize or lose their HCV rental assistance in any way. But, the family can lose out on a wide array of opportunities that may help improve their future. A key element needed to participate and to graduate from FSS is Time. Time to meet with FSS staff to develop their own service plan to invest in themselves as well as their family's future. This way, all adult members in the household achieve true self-sufficiency.

Who can be part of FSS?

The ideal HCV person or family to participate in FSS is:

  • Looking to transition from government assistance to a status of making it on their own.
  • Willing to take the time and effort to learn new skills and knowledge to achieve self-sufficiency.
  • Own your own home, start a business, or funding for college or trade school.

If this sounds like you, then FSS is the right opportunity for you to succeed.

What's all the fuss about FSS? How can FSS help YOU save money?

Show me an example of FSS:

Let's take the case of James Smith and his family: James is married and has two children. He's also unemployed and goes to truck-driving school to obtain his CDL license. Mara his wife, works part-time as a cashier. The Smith's live in a 2-bedroom apartment that rents at $1,600 each month. Their share of rent $400, is known as the Total Tenant Payment (TTP) on the HCV Program. However, three months later, James gets his CDL license and gets hired full-time as a truck driver. Mara is also promoted to lead cashier. Since they "chose to join or participate in the FSS program," some of the benefits they are eligible for are shown below.

With No Participation in FSS:

Even though the landlord's monthly rent has not changed, due to the increase in the Smith's earned income, their share of rent (TTP) increased an additional $200 each month and the Smith's must pay $200 more each month to their landlord. Depending on the Smith's future earnings per their annual meetings with their HCV Case Manager, their share of rent (TTP) may continue to increase. There are "NO OTHER BENEFITS" from the HCV Rental Assistance Program. (See example below.)

Smith's Monthly Share of Rent (TTP) Increased from $400 to $600.

HCV's Monthly Rent Subsidy (HAP) Decreased from $1,200 to $1,000.

Rent Contract to Landlord $1,600.

HCV's Monthly HAP ($200) returns to HCV. Not eligible for other benefits from HCV.

With FSS:

Since the Smith's chose to participate in FSS, their share of rent to pay the $200 monthly increase (TTP) to their landlord is the same. However, FSS staff determines that the Smith's are eligible for FSS savings and can start a FSS savings account. The decision to start and maintain escrow savings for FSS savings is based on a formula set by the U.S. Dept. of HUD. Based on this formula, FSS staff will deposit $200 monthly. Once the family achieves all of the goals outlined in their FSS program plan, they can graduate from FSS and then be eligible to receive all of the escrow savings to use as they choose.
$200 x 12 months = $2,400 per year and $12,000 (5 Yrs.) The $12,000 is saved by the FSS Program for the FSS family while they achieve all of their goals. It will then be given to the family after they graduate from FSS. This example shows how FSS helped this family achieved self- sufficiency. (FSS Savings may differ for each FSS family.)

TTP From $400 to $600 Each Month.

Contract Rent to Landlord is $1,600.
HCV's Subsidy HAP Decreases From $1,200 to $1,000 Month. Each month, up to $200 is placed in a FSS Savings Account for the FSS Family.

Interested in FSS? Call Dr. Jeri Lyons, FSS Coordinator @ 409-765-1959

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