On June 13, 2017, the Office of Housing and the Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) issued a joint letter celebrating 25 years of HUD's Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program and announcing several new resources to provide owners with practical hands-on guidance on how to run an effective FSS program.
Historically, FSS programs were administered under HUD's PIH division. However, in August of 2016, HUD released HSG Notice 16-08 Family Self Sufficiency Program in Multifamily. The Notice and related attachments can be found on HUDClips at https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/administration/hudclips/notices/hsg/2016 .
This is my very high-level summary of the program. The FSS program allows residents and owner/agents to enter in to a Contract of Participation (CoP) to promote self-sufficiency. Milestones are established and residents agree to achieve education and employment goals. While resident rents increase as income increases, the difference between rent residents pay at the start of the contract and the increased rent is deposited in to an FSS interest-bearing escrow account. Once the resident achieves the goals (usually within a five-year period), the amounts deposited in to the escrow account are distributed to the resident. With the release of TRACS version 2.0.3.A, currently scheduled for August 1, 2017, the information about FSS Escrow Account Balances will be included on the HAP (52670 Part 6).
Owner/agents of Multifamily Housing properties are encouraged, but not required, to design and implement an FSS program.
If you are interested in learning more, new resources are available.
For FSS Programs administered by private owners of HUD-assisted properties, Multifamily Housing is pleased to announce:
Two additional resources tailored to PHA-run FSS programs have been released by PIH. However, they include information relevant to all resident-serving programs with a goal of economic self-sufficiency: