FSS Rule Changes
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently made changes to the Family Self Sufficiency Program.
If you are a participant in the program, you have the choice between signing a new Contract of Participation to continue your participation under the new guidelines, or staying in your current contract with the previous rules.
If you sign a new contract, your start date and escrow money (if any) will remain the same, but your end date may be changed to give you more time in the program. Any escrow money deposited into your savings account in the future will follow the new escrow credit calculation formula.
To help you make the best decision for you and your family’s future, here are the new HUD rules for the FSS program:
- You or an adult in your household who are on a Public Housing or Housing Choice Voucher lease may join the FSS program. Only one adult per household may join, and adults within the household must agree on who in the family will join the program.
- Your monthly escrow credit will equal the difference between the baseline rent and the raised rent until your household reaches an income level that is 80 percent Area Median Income (AMI). Once the household reaches 80 percent AMI, escrow stops accruing.
- Your FSS contract could be anywhere between 5 to 10 years, with an end date set for five years after the first rental re-examination that occurs after joining the FSS Program.
- You can receive an extension of up to two years, if you need more time completing a goal as long as you are already working toward the goal at the time of the extension request. There does not have to be a special reason.
- If you are a Housing Choice Voucher holder, you will graduate when all goals are met.
- You can end your participation in the FSS program without finishing goals, and still get escrow, if one of the following situations occur:
- You become disabled and cannot complete your goals, and no other adult on the lease can take over the goals.
- If you and your family move to a location without an FSS program, and cannot complete your goals prior to leaving.
- You cannot complete your goals because you need specific services that are unavailable.
- There is no more time frame for how long you need to be Texas Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) free while in the FSS Program. We only require you to be TANF free on graduation day.
- You must have an employment goal, but no time length or hour is required.
Your Resident Service Coordinator will contact you, if they haven’t already, to explain the changes and learn if you want to sign a new contract.
For questions or more information, call Mauria Atzil, Opportunity Home Manager of Resident Services, at 210.477.6726, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org