10. Family Self-Sufficiency Program with MTW Flexibility
The agency is authorized to operate its Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program, and any successor programs, exempt from certain HUD program requirements. If the agency receives dedicated funding for an FSS coordinator, such funds must be used to employ a self-sufficiency coordinator and in accordance with any requirements of any NOFA under which funds were received. Recruitment, eligibility, and selection policies and procedures must be consistent with the Department’s nondiscrimination and equal opportunity requirements. An agency may make its Self-Sufficiency Program participation mandatory for any household member that is non-elderly/non-disabled by waiving the statutory and regulatory definition of FSS family or participating family which is “a family that resides in public housing or receives assistance under the rental certificate or rental voucher programs, and that elects to participate in the FSS program” (24 C.F.R. 984.103(b)). To the extent that Family Self-Sufficiency activities include supportive services, such services must be offered to elderly and disabled persons who are participants in the covered program and eligible for such services. Notwithstanding the above, any funds granted pursuant to a competition must be used in accordance with the NOFA.
Safe harbors marked with an asterisk (*) cannot be waived through either the Safe Harbor Waiver process or the Agency-Specific Waiver process.
10.a. Waive Operating a Required FSS Program (PH & HCV)
If the agency is statutorily required to operate an FSS program, the agency is authorized to waive this requirement.
10.b. Alternative Structure for Establishing Program Coordinating Committee (PH & HCV)
The agency is authorized to create an alternative structure for securing local resources to support an MTW Self-Sufficiency Program.
10.c. Alternative Family Selection Procedures (PH & HCV)
The agency is authorized to develop its own recruitment and selection procedures for its MTW FSS Program. Alternatively, the agency may make participation in the MTW FSS Program mandatory for any household member that is non-elderly or non-disabled.
10.d. Modify or Eliminate the Contract of Participation (PH & HCV)
The agency is authorized to modify the terms of or eliminate the FSS Contract of Participation (HUD-52650), in lieu of a local form. The agency may modify the terms of the Contract of Participation to align with adjustments made to its MTW FSS Program using MTW flexibility. Further, the agency may discontinue use of the Contract of Participation and instead employ a locally-developed agreement that codifies the terms of participation.
10.e. Policies for Addressing Increases in Family Income (PH & HCV)
The agency is authorized to set its own policies for addressing increases in family income during participation in the MTW FSS Program. Consistent with the goals and structure of its MTW FSS Program, the agency may set policies for whether income increases are recognized for purposes of increasing rent (consistent with the agency’s existing rent policy) or changing the amount of funds moved to escrow/savings through the program.
Statutes and Regulations Waived
FSS Program with MTW Flexibility (PH & HCV)
Certain provisions of sections 23(b)-(d), (f), and (n)(1) of the 1937 Act and 24 C.F.R. 984.105, 984.202(b)-(c), 984.203(a)-(c)(2), 984.303(b)-(d), (f)-(h).
- Agency must review FSS Guidance.*
- The agency must execute a Contract of Participation, or other locally developed agreement, that is at least five years but not more than ten years, with each participant participating in their FSS program.
- The agency, if implementing an FSS program, even with MTW modifications, must have an up to date, approved FSS Action Plan in accordance with 24 C.F.R. 984.201 that incorporates all modifications to the FSS program approved under the MTW Contract.*
- The agency must not require MTW FSS Program participation as a condition for housing subsidy for elderly and disabled families.*
- If the agency requires MTW FSS Program participation as a condition for housing subsidy, an impact analysis must be developed and adopted in accordance with MTW guidance prior to the implementation of the activity.*
- If the agency requires MTW FSS Program participation as a condition for housing subsidy, a hardship policy must be developed and adopted in accordance with MTW guidance prior to the implementation of the activity.*
- The agency must not make MTW FSS Program participation mandatory for individuals that do not meet the definition of an eligible family at section 23(n)(3) of the 1937 Act, and those exempted from the Community Service Requirement under section 12(c)(2)(A), (B), (D) and (E) of the 1937 Act.*
- If an agency terminates the housing subsidy or tenancy of a family for alleged violation of mandatory MTW FSS Program participation, the family will be entitled to a hearing under the agency’s Grievance Procedure (24 C.F.R. part 966, subpart B) or the HCV informal hearing process (24 C.F.R. part 982.555).*
- The agency must not use income increases during participation in the MTW FSS Program to change a family's eligibility status for purposes of participation in the MTW FSS Program or for the receipt public housing or HCV assistance.*