The New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) Statewide Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program administers the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program which helps Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher tenants achieve economic independence.
The primary objective of the FSS Program, administered under the supervision of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is to provide opportunities to low-income Section 8 families for education, job training, counseling and other forms of social service assistance, so they may obtain the education, employment and business and social skills necessary to achieve self-sufficiency.
HCR's FSS Program began as a demonstration program in 1992 with approximately 100 participant families in six counties. It is now a successful statewide program administered via HCR's Local Administrator (LA) Network in over thirty counties, with a current enrollment of nearly 2,200 families. To date, over 1,800 families have successfully completed and graduated from the HCR Statewide FSS Program.
Each FSS Program combines stable, affordable housing with case management provided in most cases by the local FSS Coordinator to help participants access the services needed to achieve the ultimate goal of self-sufficiency. Participation is voluntary and is available to families who are currently receiving assistance from HCR's Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.
The FSS Program's objectives include:
Providing FSS resources to all Section 8 families that desire to become economically independent.
Establishing working partnerships with public and private agencies to gain access to the activities and supportive services needed by program participants in order to successfully complete their contracted goals.
Addressing service issues that are identified as barriers to FSS families becoming economically self-sufficient.
Providing FSS families with a service plan that is based on their strengths and needs and realistic outcomes.
Implementing a case management system with the FSS Coordinator's support that will encourage and support FSS families to become self-sufficient.
Providing ongoing evaluation to address program effectiveness.
Goal achievement and asset building are important elements of successful program completion. Once enrolled, FSS participant families are required to develop a five-year Training and Services Plan that charts the steps needed to achieve mutually identified goals. Goals can include obtaining a G.E.D or college degree, gaining employment or finding a new job with higher earnings, starting a business or buying a home via participation in the HCR Section 8 Homeownership Program. The family successfully completes the FSS Program when the head of household has obtained full-time employment and all family members are free from receiving welfare assistance.
If you would like more information about the Family Self-Sufficiency Program, please contact HCR's Statewide Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program for a list of HCR Local Administrators that administer the FSS Program directly, or visit the HUD web site at http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/programs/hcv/fss.cfm.
Last updated on 6/29/11