Family Self Sufficiency
The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program was designed to promote economic self-sufficiency among participating families. The program is voluntary and open to all families on Section 8 with the Chelmsford Housing Authority.
FSS is designed to assist participants in planning for their future by mapping out goals for the next five years and the steps needed to achieve these goals. The program is free and funded by HUD.
How FSS works
The head-of-household, or any adult member of the household enters into a five-year contract which contains a service plan for all adult members of the household. The service plan includes a series of goals leading to suitable employment for the head-of-household and independence from government assistance for the entire family. A baseline rent is established and an escrow savings account set up.
When there is an increase in rent due to an increase in earned income, or becoming employed, the housing authority places a portion of the increase in an escrow account every month. Please note: the money put into the escrow account is funded by HUD.
Upon successful completion of the FSS contract period (5 years), the head-of-household receives the escrow money and any interest earned on it. The family may decide to spend that money in any way it chooses, however the family is encouraged to use it as a down-payment on a house or invest it wisely.
The FSS coordinator identifies and coordinates any social services the family may need to complete the program. The needs vary from family to family but include:
- Employment counseling
- Job Training
- Budget planning
Benefits of the FSS Program
- Access to resources only available to FSS participants
- A plan for your future that you help design
- As your earnings increase, your rent increases and an escrow savings account is set up on your behalf. At the end of your contract, if you have reached your goals, all the funds in your account are handed over to you. This has enabled many clients to put down-payments on their own homes.
- The FSS Coordinator is available to talk with and help you make decisions.
- A no-interest loan program if you need emergency financial assistance in reaching your goals.
For more information on the FSS program please contact the FSS / Supportive Services Coordinator:
FSS Newsletter December 2022/January 2023