The primary goal of the Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS) is to assist families to achieve both short and long term goals toward a lifetime of economic success and family self-sufficiency! This voluntary program is designed to empower families to become economically independent by creating a family plan for their future.
The Family Self-Sufficiency program represents a comprehensive approach to help families migrate from public agency support to adopting an array of best practices that will ultimately aid them in managing all the important facets of daily life. Some of the skills participants will learn are how to navigate through challenging times and what resources are available to make those times easier, what steps to take in order to secure a higher-paying job to and improve one’s financial situation, learn the importance of managing personal finances and how important it is to follow a budget.
The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program links participants with health and human service agencies as well as private sector companies to help them achieve economic independence. Participants start with securing a stable housing environment. From that point, focus can then be directed to other areas of importance such as securing a good paying job, expanding education, and participating in job skills training.
Areas of Support
Lycoming Housing has many partnering agencies throughout the region that are available to provide support and guidance in a wide-range of areas. Some of the areas where support can be offered include:
One of the major benefits of the FSS Program is it offers families the opportunity to save for the future. During the term of the Contract of Participation, the Housing Authority will establish an interest-bearing escrow account on behalf of the participants. The amount of the escrow account reflects what would normally be an increase in the rent due to an increase in the family’s earned income. LHA will place what would be the increase in rent in to your escrow account and your rent amount remains the same.
The family may withdraw the funds in the escrow account when they have met their final goals and are no longer receiving Federal, State or Public welfare assistance for at least one year. The family may use the final disbursement of the escrow funds without restriction. Past participants have used the funds for a down payment on a home, to start a business, paid off debt to become more financially secure, or simply saved and invested the funds. The choice is yours.
The Housing Authority may authorize a partial disbursement of the escrow funds for contract-related expenses if the family has completed specific interim goals. Contract-related expenses may include, but are not limited to: school tuition and fees, job training expenses, business start-up expenses or a vehicle when public transportation is unavailable or inaccessible to the family.
Frequently Asked Questions
All participants in the Section 8 /Housing Choice Voucher program as well as Public Housing residents are eligible to participate in this program.
Each participating family signs a Contract of Participation, which lists the services available to the family and the goals and obligations the family agrees to complete. Each family’s contract package will be individually tailored to the specific needs of the family for services, training, counseling and other assistance the family needs to become self-sufficient.
- Have no lease violations;
- Pay your rent on time;
- Sign the Contract of Participation, which is in effect for 5 years;
- Establish and meet your goals;
- Seek employment, job training or further education;
- Meet with case manager regularly throughout the contract to track
The head of the household or designated adult member must agree to seek and retain employment. This does not however, restrict the head of the household from training or advancing their education and then becoming employed.
The Contract of Participation is for up to five years, but may be extended for two additional years for good cause. It may be modified as family circumstances change, if these changes are mutually agreeable to the family and the Housing Authority.
Withdrawal from the FSS Program is permissible and will not affect the housing assistance the family is receiving.