Family Self-Sufficiency Program
The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program can help you increase your skill levels, education and employment to become self-supporting. The FSS Program is open to households, with or without children, that meet our eligibility requirements (see below).
This program is voluntary and is open to all families living in public housing or receiving a Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8). The program combines stable and affordable housing with staff support to help participants get access to what they need to reach their goals. The program also contributes money to a savings account on behalf of participants as their income from employment increases.
Family Self-Sufficiency basics
The program has two main components - support from a case manager and contributions to a special savings (escrow) account.
You will work with an Economic Opportunity Specialist who will help you create a life plan for up to five years. The plan will include specifics about your individual goals, the steps you'll need to take to reach those goals and referrals to services that can help you accomplish your goals.
Examples of the services you'll be connected to include:
- job readiness and/or job search
- vocational training
- help with obtaining a high school diploma or GED
- help with getting into college
- financial education and credit repair
- transportation assistance.
Escrow Savings Account
As you begin earning higher wages, your Seattle Housing Authority rent also increases. Part of the increased rent that you pay is matched by the Housing Authority and deposited every month to a special bank account for you. As this account grows, part of the money in it can be used to pay for things that will help you meet your goals. These funds may be used to help with the costs associated with employment, education, starting a small business, home ownership or other things that can help you accomplish your goals.
When you successfully accomplish your goals, or make enough money to move away from assisted housing you will receive any money remaining in the account.
Enrolling in the program
Here are the requirements for participating in the program:
- You must not owe back rent or damages or be involved in a repayment plan with the Seattle Housing Authority.
- You must be willing and able to commit to setting and working toward accomplishing goals that will increase your skills, education and employment status.
- You must agree to meet and communicate regularly with the Economic Opportunity Specialist and share updates on the progress you are making toward your goals.
- You must be independent of TANF before you can graduate from the program.
- You must adhere to the requirements of your lease.
If you are interested in participating in the Family Self Sufficiency Program, you must complete an FSS Interest Form, available here.
Once you complete the form and turn it in to us, you will be placed on the waiting list for the program. When we reach your name on the list, we will invite you to an orientation to learn more about the program.
For more information about the Economic Opportunity Program, please call 206-588-4324.