Multifamily Family Self Sufficiency Program
NOTE: This page is for FSS programs serving residents of HUD-assisted multifamily housing. For information on FSS programs serving public housing residents or Housing Choice Voucher holders, visit PIH's FSS page.
Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) is a HUD program that provides incentives and supports to help families living in multifamily assisted housing to increase their earned income and reduce their dependence on public assistance programs. FSS promotes the development of local strategies to coordinate the use of HUD rental assistance programs with public and private resources in order to enable eligible families to make progress toward economic independence and self-sufficiency.
Owners of privately-owned HUD assisted multifamily housing with Section 8 contracts can voluntarily establish and operate an FSS program at their housing sites. Participation in the FSS program is voluntary for families living in these properties.
The FSS program helps assisted housing residents increase their earnings and build financial assets. The program has two key features:
- A financial incentive for residents to increase their earnings in the form of an escrow account that increases as residents’ earnings increase. The escrow account helps residents build savings that they can use to improve their quality of life and advance their personal goals.
- Case management or coaching to help residents access services they may need to overcome barriers to employment, strengthen their financial capability, and address other challenges holding them back from achieving their goals.
Multifamily FSS Resources
This Notice implements the policies and procedures applicable to an FSS program in a HUD-assisted multifamily housing property.
Designed to introduce FSS to owners and staff of HUD-Assisted Multifamily Properties, this webinar provides a basic overview of the Multifamily FSS program. During the webinar, Jeffrey Lubell and Melissa Vandawalker of Abt Associates review the basic components of the FSS program and Aaron Gornstein, President and CEO of Preservation of Affordable Housing, Inc., and Debbie Nutter, President of The Caleb Group, discuss why they offer FSS to residents of their properties. At the conclusion of the webinar, HUD's Danielle Garcia and Carissa Janis answer questions about how the FSS program works for multifamily properties.
This webinar highlights promising practices for running an effective FSS program. The principal speakers are Sherry Riva, Founder and Executive Director of Compass Working Capital, Ann Lentell, Compass' Director of Programs, and Nancy Scull, former director of the FSS program of the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County, MD.
This webinar reviews the principal steps that HUD-assisted multifamily properties must take to start an FSS program and comply with reporting and other program requirements.
This guidebook provides owners with information on promising practices that can help them establish and run an effective FSS program. It is based primarily on lessons learned from existing FSS programs and the rules established in HUD Housing Notice H-2016-08. This guidebook is organized into chapters that cover most elements of the FSS program. The chapters are ordered in a way that follows the development and implementation of an FSS program, starting with planning an FSS program, moving on to implementing an FSS program, and concluding with the use of data to monitor the program's success.
How to Submit an Action Plan to HUD?
An owner must have a HUD-approved Action Plan that complies with the requirements of Housing Notice H-2016-08 before implementing an FSS program. The Action Plan should be developed in consultation with the public and private entities that will provide tenant services and/or other resources for the operation of the FSS program. For approval, the Action Plan must be submitted to the HUD email box MF_FSS@hud.gov. The Action Plan must be attached to the email as a PDF, Microsoft Word, or other text file. The owner should include the words "Action Plan" in the subject line of the email long with the project name and contract number. (For Example, "Action Plan Brightwood Place IL06M123456".) If an owner is requesting to fund an FSS program coordinator through the use of residual receipts, then the owner must complete form HUD-9250, "Funds Authorizations", and submit it as an attachment along with the Action Plan in the email sent to HUD. Refer to Section III.A of the Notice H-2016-08.