Multifamily FSS Resources

HUD's Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program helps residents of assisted housing increase their earnings and build financial assets. These resources provide valuable guidance to property owners in launching an FSS program.

About the Multifamily FSS Program

Message from the Deputy Assistant Secretary

Lamar Seats, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing, shares an important message about the FSS program in this brief video.

“I encourage our housing owners and management agents to learn more about Family Self-Sufficiency and choose to offer this opportunity to their residents. Please join HUD in offering our residents the opportunity to build a brighter financial future. We all must work together to create access to opportunity and vibrant communities for all.”

Watch DAS Seat’s brief invitation video | View the transcript

FSS Program Notice

This notice implements the policies and procedures applicable to an FSS program in a HUD-assisted multifamily housing property. Note that this notice will be updated in late 2022 and the notice does not reflect changes due to the final rule.

FSS Program Guidebook for Owners of Project-Based Section 8 Developments

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.

What is FSS?

This video, produced by Compass Working Capital, uses animation to explain how the FSS Program works, and how it can help participants reach their financial goals.

View the video | View the transcript

FSS Resources List

A downloadable list of FSS resources is available on this page.

FSS Success Story: Sileny

Learn about the journey of one FSS participant to improve her credit, relocate to a new city, and save for a home.

Why We Use FSS: Aaron Gornstein

Aaron Gornstein, President and CEO of Preservation of Affordable Housing Inc. (POAH), a multifamily owner PBRA organization, shares their reasons for launching an FSS program.

View the video | View the transcript

Why We Use FSS: Debbie Nutter

Debbie Nutter, President, CEO, and co-founder of The Caleb Group, a multifamily PBRA owner organization, shares their reasons for launching an FSS program.

View the video | View the transcript

Program Design and Administration

What's Involved in Launching a FSS Program?

Learn more about what it takes to launch an FSS program, from staffing requirements to property readiness.

Fact Sheet: Funding a Program

Owners can financially support an FSS program in a few ways: Using available residual receipts, corporate resources, third-party grants, and philanthropy. Find more information about how to fund an FSS program in this fact sheet.

Fact Sheet: Staffing a Program

While owners have discretion in determining their program’s staffing structure, this resource outlines common roles and responsibilities in administering an FSS program.

FSS Program Models Information Sheet

The sheet describes the Financial Coaching and Employment program models and provides resources to help property owners/management agents design their program model.

Nine Foundational Coaching Strategies

This document provides examples of coaching strategies that FSS coordinators can apply in FSS programs. These strategies are designed to support coaches in helping clients stay motivated, connecting clients to resources, and maintaining the focus on the client’s goals.

Fact Sheet: Monitoring and Reporting

HUD monitors Multifamily FSS programs through required reports that owners submit on FSS participants and their outcomes. Find out more about HUD reporting requirements in this fact sheet.

Launching a Multifamily FSS Program Webinar

Designed to introduce FSS to owners and staff of HUD-assisted Multifamily properties, this webinar will provide a basic overview of the Multifamily FSS program.

Promising Practices for Running an FSS Program Webinar

This webinar highlights promising practices for running an effective FSS program.

Complying with Multifamily FSS Program Requirements Webinar

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.

Escrow Administration

FAQ: Escrow Account Management

The FSS escrow account is an interest-bearing account central to residents’ participation in the FSS program. It is designed to help participants build savings and incentivize growth in earned income. Learn more about FSS escrow accounts in this FAQ.

Escrow Resource Guide

This guide provides a review of the various tools, tips, and guidance to support multifamily property owners and management agent staff in planning, managing, and accounting for escrow savings generated by participants in the FSS program.

Multifamily FSS Escrow Accounting and Reporting Basics

This sheet describes the basic requirements, key considerations, and best practices for calculating and recording escrow, tracking FSS financial data, document retention and management, and quarterly reporting to HUD.

OARQ Adjustment Basics

This is a reference guide to OARQ adjustments made to the Tenant Rental Assistance Certification System (TRACS) for FSS Escrow funds. It provides recommendations and examples for posting an FSS OARQ adjustment and handling positive and negative OARQ adjustments.

Monthly FSS Escrow Credit Worksheet

This Excel worksheet will calculate escrow credit for participating households. It is meant to be used for initial calculation and at each income recertification. An example completed form is also provided for reference.

Enrollment and Escrow Worksheet

This Excel worksheet allows owners/agents to track enrollment and ongoing escrow credits. (Note: you will still have to use the Multifamily FSS Escrow Credit Worksheet to calculate the escrow after each income recertification.) This resource will allow owners/agents to track escrow credits by household over time if their property management, accounting, and other systems do not have this capability.

FAQ: Your FSS Escrow Savings Account

This participant-facing FAQ is designed to help potential, new, and current FSS participants understand the property’s FSS escrow savings account, including how the account works, its value to the participants, and its limitations. This information can also help property staff explain the account to residents and answer their questions.

Common Challenges in FSS Escrow Accounting and How to Avoid Them

This document reviews common challenges in FSS escrow accounting and strategies for avoiding or addressing them including accurately tracking households' escrow balances, allocating interest to participant households, submitting timely and accurate OARQ adjustments to HUD, and accounting for FSS escrow accrual by tenants who fail to report their full income as required.

An FSS Escrow Case Study: Jana Williams

This fictional case study explores escrow procedures through the experience of Jana Williams, an individual that benefitted from the FSS Escrow Program.

Q&A: What are escrow account funds used for?

This Q&A polls representatives from multifamily housing owner organizations about how residents use their FSS escrow account funds.

View the video | View the transcript

Q&A: Example of Escrow

This short clip provides a step-by-step demonstration of FSS escrow.

View the video | View the transcript

Resources to Launch Your FSS Program: 2020 Technical Assistance Training Curriculum Featured Trainings

Curriculum Materials

Discover new FSS curriculum materials including the program launch roadmap, self-assessment tool, and webinar sessions.

Program Launch Roadmap

Self-Assessment Tool

Module 1: Developing Your FSS Infrastructure

This webinar covers topics critical to laying a strong foundation for an FSS program and discusses the FSS launch process, how to identify and establish team roles, and reviews the systems key to program success.

Module 2: Developing Your HUD Action Plan

This webinar explains the purpose of the FSS Action Plan, the necessary steps to develop one, and the process of submitting it to HUD and obtaining HUD approval.

Module 3: Operating FSS: Program Rules and Regulations

This webinar covers the core rules and regulations of the FSS program for affordable multifamily owners, per HUD Notice H-2016-08, including the details of program enrollment, the escrow account, ongoing program activities, graduations, and terminations.

Module 4: A Deep Dive Into Escrow Account Administration Roles and Responsibilities

This webinar describes how to run FSS escrow accounts and what processes will be needed, what those processes entail, and when and how to do them.

Module 5: Preparing to Launch FSS

This webinar covers how to define and document specific FSS program policies and processes, develop the forms and tools to administer your program, and create a marketing strategy that will generate interest in the program at your property.

Module 6: FSS Enrollment and Appointments

This webinar covers HUD’s Contract of Participation and Individual Training and Services Plan and how to complete these forms with new FSS participants. It also presents best practices for conducting effective coaching appointments and some ongoing appointment activities, with a specific focus on intake appointments.