|HUD No. 19-180
HUD Public Affairs
December 31, 2019
HUD AWARDS NEARLY $80 MILLION TO HELP FAMILIES REACH SELF-SUFFICIENCY
Federal funding to support education and employment among HUD-assisted families
WASHINGTON - U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson today awarded more than $79 million to nearly 700 public housing authorities across the country. These funds will help residents of public housing and voucher-assisted housing increase their earned income and reduce their dependency on public assistance and rental subsidies. Read more about the local impact of the grants announced today.
Funded through HUD's Family Self-Sufficiency Program(FSS), these grants enable public housing agencies (PHAs) to collaborate with social service agencies, community colleges, businesses, and other local partners to help participants further their education, gain marketable skills, and otherwise increase their income potential through new employment or by advancing in their current workplace.
āHelping people find jobs that will put them on the path to self-sufficiency is at the core of HUDās mission,ā said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. āHUD is committed to working with our local partners to connect families with the opportunities and support they need to succeed at every level.ā
HUD's FSS Program funding helps local public housing authorities to hire Service Coordinators who work directly with residents to connect them with existing programs and services in the local community. These Service Coordinators build relationships with networks of local service providers, who provide direct assistance to FSS participants. The broad spectrum of services made possible through FSS enables participating families to find jobs, increase earned income, reduce or eliminate the need for rental and/or welfare assistance, and make progress toward achieving economic independence and housing self-sufficiency.
Participants in the program sign a five-year contract requiring the head of the household to obtain employment. In addition, no member of the FSS family may have received cash welfare assistance for twelve months prior to program graduation. Families in the FSS program have an interest-bearing escrow account established for them. The amount credited to the family's escrow account is based on increases in the family's earned income during the term of the FSS contract. FSS participants who successfully complete the requirements of their FSS contract receive the escrow funds upon completion and are able to apply those funds to advance their personal circumstances, including, for example, paying educational expenses or making a down-payment on a home.
Over ninety percent of FY19 FSS awards are to public housing authorities with units in Opportunity Zones. Created under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Opportunity Zones aim to stimulate long-term investments in low-income communities.
For more information on the successes of the FSS program, please see FSS Celebrates 25 Years! 25 Years of the Family Self-Sufficiency Program: Families Working, Families Prospering.