Family Self-Sufficiency Program
The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program is a voluntary program offered to current Housing Choice Voucher families designed to assist families in becoming independent of public assistance. FSS combines case management and the support of local programs and agencies in DeKalb County to assist the FSS families in attaining their goals. FSS families will be assisted with education, career/vocational counseling, job search techniques, mental and physical health issues, substance abuse, money management, child care, transportation and other relevant needs.
Participants in the FSS program sign a 5-year Contract of Participation committing to follow a step by step action plan that they have established for themselves with full-time employment and independence from welfare assistance being the final goals of the FSS Program for all participants.
FSS offers a financial incentive to the FSS participants. The Housing Authority establishes an escrow savings account for participants when the participants become employed or increase their current earned income. A portion of the difference saved in the HAP Payment amount by virtue of the participant paying a higher portion of their Contract Rent is deposited into the participant's account by the Housing Authority.
The amount in the escrow account becomes available to the families upon successful completion of their Contract of Participation.
FSS Participants are also eligible for one of several of the Housing Authority's first time home ownership programs, provided that their minimum annual income is $25,000 and that they have a solid work history for the past two years. The Housing Authority employs a full-time Home Ownership Counselor to work with the families. The FSS participants may request money from their escrow accounts to help them with their first time home ownership expenses.