Family Self-Sufficiency Program

Self-sufficiency-520What is the Family Self-Sufficiency Program?
The Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS) is a government program designed to help families become self-sufficient, without the support of government assistance. It is a five-year program offering counseling, job training and educational opportunities to each member of a participating family.

Who may participate in FSS?
Any Public Housing Resident or Section 8 Program Participant that is the head of household and any member of their immediate family that lives in their household.

What happens if I am interested in FSS?
You will be invited to a meeting to learn more about the FSS Program. The program, its services, and unique opportunities will be explained to you.

How are participants selected?
Participants are selected on a first-come, first-served basis.

How does the FSS program work?
You meet with the FSS Coordinator to discuss and determine your strengths, weaknesses, needs and goals. Then, a five-year contract of participation will be developed. You and  the Coordinator will determine what type of supportive services will be necessary to assist you in achieving your goals.  The services might include job training and counseling,  childcare, remedial education, higher education, substance abuse treatments, and/or training in money management, etc.
You and/or a member of your family will sign a five-year contract of participation for the FSS Program. The contract is an agreement between you and the Housing Authority. The contract will state your goals and objectives, the types of supportive services that will be provided.

What if a participant does not fulfill the contract of participation?
The Housing Authority wants families to be successful and to become financially independent. We realize that you may have difficulties in reaching some of your objectives during the five­-year program. If that happens, the Housing Authority will work with you to amend your plan so you can realistically achieve your goals. It may be that you only need an additional service to help you reach your goals.
If a family doesn’t comply with their contract or is determined ineligible for Section  8 rental assistance or evicted from Public Housing, the family would lose their escrow account.

What is the escrow account?
You will have an escrow account established in your name. When your income increases from employment while participating in the FSS Program, your escrow account will be credited with a portion of the increase in rent, which would normally occur. The escrow does not affect your portion of rent. You will still continue paying your regular share of rent, which is based on your income. The escrow account will be released to the head-of-household if the family successfully completes their contract. The head of the family will be required to certify that members of the family no longer receive public assistance. Through the Housing Authority’s Homeownership Program, the Housing Authority will assist families in purchasing their own home with the money from their escrow account.

How may I join the FSS Program?
Contact us to take advantage of this unique program. Since the number of openings in the program is limited, you may have your name placed on a waiting list until an opening is available.

Davida Randolph:352.369.2235 (drandolph@ocalahousing.org)
Stephanie Reynolds:  352.620.3366 (sreynolds@ocalahousing.org)casa