It Can Change Your Life!
What is the Family Self-Sufficiency Program?
The Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS) is available to all families receiving Housing Choice Voucher rental or homeownership assistance. It is voluntary and designed to assist families in becoming self-supporting so they will no longer need to rely on public assistance. This program is available through Neighborhood Services Department and the only requirement is the desire, willingness and commitment to make a change in your life and to take the steps necessary to become self-sufficient. Hundreds of families all over the country are already making better lives for themselves through this program.
How does the FSS Program work?
The FSS Program is a cooperative program that provides support and assistance to your family for up to five years. The head of household enters into an agreement (English [177.4 KB]) (Spanish [36.4 KB]) with the Housing Authority in which an action plan (83.8 KB) is developed that identifies the family’s employment goals. It outlines the activities and services required to achieve these goals. Regular contact with the FSS Coordinator is essential and will provide opportunities to problem-solve obstacles before they arise. An FSS Coordinator will support you, take an interest in your future, and will refer you to public agencies and resources available in Miami-Dade County. They will assist you in achieving your objectives.
By combining housing assistance with a number of other services, we can assure better coordination and provide the maximum benefits needed for you to obtain self-sufficiency.
Gradually, as you accomplish increased degrees of self-sufficiency by working and earning more, your portion of rent may go up. Another advantage to the FSS Program is that as this happens, we will establish an escrow account that will be awarded to you when you’ve successfully completed your FSS Contract of Participation. This account automatically saves for you and could be a boost in reaching any goals or personal endeavors you may have. You will not have to give up your voucher when the contract is completed, but hopefully you will no longer need assistance at that point. You can even join the FSS Program if you are presently working or are in school. You are not required to be on any public assistance other than the Housing Choice Voucher Program in order to qualify and if there are two adults in the household, you both may be part of the program.
What kinds of resources are available?
Your FSS Coordinator is knowledgeable about many supportive services in the community. We will assess your needs and refer you to the services you need. Some of the services could include workshops in resume writing, skill building, interviewing techniques, completing or adding to your education, affordable childcare, food, job training, job placement, educational programs, career counseling, physical and mental health clinics, household budgeting, credit counseling, debt management and consolidation, home ownership, nutrition, parenting and many other services. Through collaboration with other providers, we also offer many opportunities unique to FSS participants.
What’s the catch?
You must be receiving rental assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher Program in order to participate in the FSS Program. In order to complete the program, you must meet all the goals and activities you’ve established for your family and be free of “welfare” (cash assistance). Another way of completing the program is to simply increase your household income so that 30% of your monthly income is greater than the Fair Market Rent for your family size. This means that if another opportunity presents itself and leads you to self-sufficiency, the FSS contract can be considered complete.
What will be required of me?
COMMITMENT!!! You will bring your own unique talents, skills and strengths to the FSS Program. We will require you to be determined and committed in completing the activities listed in your training and services plan (83.8 KB). You’ll need to keep in touch with us regarding your progress towards self-sufficiency. You will be asked to meet with us periodically in order to discuss and update your goals and activities. You must possess motivation and initiative in your quest for economic independence. The FSS Coordinator is just your guide.
Why join the FSS Program?
Joining the program could be the key to your family’s success. It is designed to assist families just like yours. People join the FSS Program to learn work skills and improve their ability to get and maintain employment. Along with the financial incentive is the legacy you leave your family of self-determination when you are free of all public assistance. Our Family Self-Sufficiency clients, as a whole, make impressive progress towards self-support.
What is the connection between FSS and the HCV (Section 8) Homeownership Program?
The HCV Homeownership Program is only available to families who are present participants or graduates of the FSS program within the jurisdiction of the Homestead Housing Authority.
FSS is your Key to Success!
If you are currently receiving Housing Choice Voucher housing assistance and are interested in learning more about or joining the FSS program, please contact the FSS Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or talk with your housing specialist