Monday, November 20, 2017
Family Self Sufficiency Program (FSS)

Family Self Sufficiency Program (FSS)

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) established the Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS) in 1990.  The purpose of this program is to help families (with the help of community services) become self-sufficient by attaining established goals.  In this 5-year program (some families need less time), families can establish an escrow account (a savings account) that is often used to help pay for such things as a college education, a car, and/or the down payment on a new home.

The Family Self-Sufficiency Program is the program you have been waiting for!  This program represents the largest asset-building program in the country.  Over 30% of FSS graduates across the country become homeowners.  Their earned incomes increase as much as 300%.

We help you determine goals you can reach within five years or less.  We refer you to resources that can assist you in reaching those goals.  And at the same time, we make it possible for you to save money when your rent increases because of an increase in earned income (employment).

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Goals:
A participant’s goals are specific to each person.  They are designed to guide participants toward self-sufficiency.  We can assist you with career counseling to help you determine the best careers that will help you succeed in a field that uses your natural abilities.  An individual’s goals can include completing an educational or training program, credit building or repair, personal development, getting a full-time or better-paying job, home ownership, or another idea that suits your own personal dreams. 

Life’s experiences can change one’s goals and aspirations.  For this reason, participants can change their goals up to their fourth year in the program.  After four years in the program, the goals listed in the participant’s file must be completed in order to graduate from the program.

Escrow:
A base is established when participants join the FSS Program.  This is approximately 30% of a participant’s monthly adjusted income.  Increases in rent due to increases in earned income are put into an escrow account (savings).  Once some goals have been met, some of the funds can be used to assist participants reach additional goals.  (For example:  A participant who had been in the program for two years was scheduled to graduate from a community college.  She did not have the money to pay for her certification exam.  Since she had attended meetings, worked with a credit counselor, and earned her two-year degree during the time that she was in the FSS Program, she was allowed to use escrow money to pay for her certification exam.)

The amount of money earned in an escrow account depends upon the individual participant.  Some participants have earned only a few dollars, while others have earned over $20,000. 

It’s Up To YOU!

No one can see your life through your eyes except you!
and
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!

These are the mottos of our Family Self-Sufficiency Program here at the Boca Raton Housing Authority.  The goals you set represent your hopes and dreams.  This is your life. 

The most valuable parts of the FSS Program are linked to changes in how participants think, and how they feel about themselves.  Through mentoring and working with numerous resources, graduates leave the FSS Program having set their own goals, worked to achieve those goals, and changed their own lives to realize dreams they thought were never before possible.

We help you see where you are now.  You tell us where you want to go.  Then we help you create a map to get there!

Are you ready to start changing your life?

Enrollment Limitations:
There are limited slots available for our FSS Program.  To qualify, an applicant must be a Section 8 voucher holder of the Boca Raton Housing Authority.  Section 8 voucher holders who have ported from another housing authority must already be FSS participants in the original housing authority.    Obtain an FSS application, complete and return it to our main office at 2333A W. Glades Rd., Boca Raton, FL 33431.  Be sure to include a phone number and the best time for us to contact you.  Let FSS know each time you change your address and/or phone number.  If there are no openings, you will be placed on a waiting list.

While on the waiting list, you will be invited (and encouraged) to attend FSS meetings and seminars.  The information that you learn will enable you to begin making better decisions for yourself.  This will also help increase your motivation and encourage you to make the necessary changes in your life.  As slots become available in the FSS Program, you will be notified.

Program Coordinating Committee (PCC)

The PCC is an advisory committee to the FSS Program.  It represents various community organizations.  We meet monthly to discuss problems and obstacles that impede the progress of our FSS participants, and find creative ways to assist them become more successful.  Among the many things with which these organizations assist our participants are:  helping with their resumes, finding employment (and training for employment), providing food and clothing banks, teaching financial literacy, offering educational classes and seminars, and providing credit counseling.  When our participants have a need, our PCC is committed to finding resources to assist them.

Our 2013/2014 PCC Members are:

Iberia Bank
Dress for Success of Palm Beach
Gulfstream Goodwill Industries, Inc.
Section 8 voucher holder representative 
Habitat for Humanity
Adopt a Family
Family Promise
 Workforce Alliance, Inc.
Darish Still - Credit Counselor

Our PCC has been very generous with their time, money, and expertise in supporting the Family Self-Sufficiency Program.  It is because of this support that our program is successful, and that so many of our participants are able to turn their lives around and achieve their goals.