Moving Up – FSS Program
Moving Up – Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) Program
Moving Up – FSS Program is a program that enables HUD-assisted families to increase their earned income and reduce their dependency on welfare assistance and rental subsidies.
Once an eligible family is selected to participate in the program, Fargo Housing and the head of each participating family execute a FSS Contract of Participation that specifies the rights and responsibilities of both parties. The term of the FSS contract is generally 5 years, but it may be extended for another 2 years by the PHA for good cause.
The FSS contract also incorporates the family’s individual training and services plan (ITSP). The ITSP is the document that records the plan for the family. That is, the series of intermediate and long-term goals and the steps the family needs to take – and the services and resources they may need to access – to achieve those goals.
You can read more on the HUD website.
FSS Fact Sheet: provides general FSS program information.
No. Although the goal of the program is that families will no longer need housing assistance upon completion of the FSS program, some families that complete the program will still need assistance for housing. The law provides that a family may complete its FSS contract and receive its escrow while continuing to receive housing assistance.
An interest-bearing FSS escrow account is established by Fargo Housing for each participating family. An escrow credit, based on increases in earned income of the family, is credited to this account by Fargo Housing during the term of the FSS contract. Fargo Housing may make a portion of this escrow account available to the family during the term of the contract to enable the family to complete an interim goal such as education. If the family completes the contract and no member of the family is receiving public assistance, the amount of the FSS account is paid to the head of the family. If Fargo Housing terminates the FSS contract, or if the family fails to complete the contract before its expiration, the family’s FSS escrow funds are forfeited.
Services include case management services that help participants pursue employment and other goals, and an escrow account into which the public housing agency (PHA) deposits the increased rental charges that a family pays as its earnings rise. Families that complete the program may withdraw funds from these accounts for any purpose after five years. FSS program coordinators insure that FSS program participants are linked to the supportive services they need to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Case management services may include, but are not limited to:
- Child Care
- Job Training and Employment Counseling
- Financial Literacy
- Homeownership Counseling
The FHA and the head of each participating family execute an FSS contract of participation that specifies the rights and responsibilities of both parties. The 5-year FSS contract specifies goals and services for each family. Family members must fulfill all requirements in order to obtain full benefits. The FSS contract requires that the family comply with the lease, that all family members become independent of public assistance, and that the head of the family seek and maintain suitable employment. Possible sanctions for noncompliance with the FSS contract are termination from the FSS program, forfeiture of the FSS escrow account, withholding or termination of supportive services, and termination of housing assistance.
Fargo Housing can give a selection preference to eligible families with one or more family members enrolled in, or on the waiting list for, an FSS-related service or job placement program. Fargo Housing may screen applicants for interest and motivation to participate in FSS, but may not screen for education, job history, credit rating, marital status, or a number of children.
Please contact us at 701-293-6262.