FMHA's Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program helps eligible individuals acquire the skills and experience they need to obtain employment that earns income, and offers them a unique savings opportunity as their earnings increase. The program features goal setting, mentoring and financial incentives to empower families to make positive life changes.

How the Program Works

As a part of the FSS Program, Participants enter into a five-year contract with FMHA that identifies their educational, personal and professional goals. The FSS Coordinator then assists the head of household develop a plan of action that outlines specific activities and services needed to achieve their goals. Services include education, job training, social services, business development, credit counseling, legal assistance, job placement and self-help workshops.

Throughout the five-year contract, a family advisor monitors the Participant’s progress and helps him or her achieve the next level of self-sufficiency. Usually, as Participants reach their goals, their income increases, resulting in an increase in their portion of the rent. When this occurs, an amount equal to the increase in the family’s portion of the rent is set aside in a savings account for the Participant. When the FSS contract is successfully completed, the Participant receives all of the money in the account plus interest. FSS graduates have achieved such goals as obtaining high school diplomas, graduating from college, establishing themselves in rewarding careers, purchasing homes, starting their own businesses and much more.

Program Features

  • Individual counseling
  • Career planning and development
  • Built in savings program
  • Preparation for homeownership
  • Obtaining a high school diploma /GED
  • Obtaining a first-job
  • Obtaining higher education degree/certifications
  • Obtaining a higher paying job
  • Budgeting skill
  • Obtaining a mortgage through a bank / mortgage lender
  • Accomplishing goals that will achieving economic independence

Program Requirements

To qualify for FSS, Participants must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be a Participant in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program
  • Be in good standing with the HCV Program (including compliant with all HCV Program rules and regulations)
  • Have a genuine desire to change
  • Sign a five-year contract
  • Maintain regular contact with an FSS advisor
  • Make measurable progress toward goals

How to Apply for the Family Self Sufficiency Program?

You must complete a FSS wait list application to be placed on the waiting list. Applications are available in printable format online and in the office.

What happens after I apply?

Once you have been selected from the waiting list you will receive a letter and pre-application to complete allowing the FSS Coordinator to evaluate your current situation. After the application is returned the FSS Coordinator will contact you to set up your initial home visit, to sign the FSS Contract. Following the signing of the contract, you will begin working one on one with the FSS Coordinator to create an outline of goals you want to achieve to become self-sufficient.

Questions about the program? Contact: Debbie Franke