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HUD Announces Over $116 Million For The Family Self-Sufficiency Program To Public Housing Agencies

2022 funding enables HUD-assisted families to build assets and increase stability through Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS).

January 26, 2023

Washington- Nearly 682 Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) were given $109 Million by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the renewal of the Family Self Sufficiency Program 2022. In addition to this, $6 Million was given to 32 PHAs and 38 Project-Based Rental Assistance owners (PBRA) for a new FSS program which in total equals $116 Million. Families can increase their assets and improve their financial stability through the Family Self-Sufficiency program funds. The key element of the agency’s agenda for Bridging the wealth gap was expanding asset-building programs like the Family Self-Sufficiency Program.

The FSS program is a voluntary program offered to families living in HUD-assisted housing where they are provided coaching, referred to services, and establish a family escrow savings account. Besides providing program coaching, FSS program coordinators also develop local strategies to connect participating families to public and private resources. By doing so, the program coordinators help the families by increasing their earned income, eliminating the need for welfare assistance, and making significant progress toward self-sufficiency.

HUD Secretary, Marcia L Fudge says, “ Childcare, education, job training, and financial literacy are just some of the services to which families are connected under the FSS program. HUD is dedicated to providing resources to individuals and families in need of the ups and downs in life. The family self-sufficiency program also provides the desired support, connections, and opportunities to build assets.

Funding over 1,300 coordinators serving 60,000 residents in public, voucher, and multifamily housing, the FSS program is the nation’s largest asset-building program for low-income families. The new regulations published in May remove potential barriers to the program by allowing adult household members to apply and also eliminate a cap on savings for higher earners. FY22 was the first year when PBRA owners were eligible to apply for funding while authorized to run self-funded FSS programs since 2015. The response to this was outstanding as demand exceeded resources by 150 eligible applicants. FSS appropriated $125 Million in the FY23 budget in a show of continuing bipartisan support for this 30-year-old program.

The national problems that impact renters and contribute to the racial wealth gap are unequal access to savings, negative credit history, and engagement in mainstream banking. These challenges leave renters with limited financial support during periods of unemployment or unexpected expenses like medical emergencies or car repairs. Consequently, the FSS program prevents this unexpected to turn into larger financial problems by providing savings and support.

The FSS program also published an updated version of the FSS program guidebook that has information about the new FSS rule and support for Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) owners. All the practitioners implementing this program can use this guidebook as a resource. The guidebook provides practical and hands-on instructions for effectively managing an FSS program. Besides this, this guidebook will serve as a key resource for the 70 new FSS programs going to be announced today.

Last Updated: September 20, 2021