The Family Self Sufficiency Program offers many services which allow residents the opportunity to become economically self-sufficient.
SERVICES PROVIDED ARE:
The Income Disallowance Plan - This plan is offered to residents who have gone from welfare to work, residents who have had an increase in income, and residents who are involved in a job training program. The first twelve month period that you have an increase in earned income, 100% of the increase will be disallowed. The next six months your rent will only increase by 50% of the initial increase. This plan enables residents to save money.
The Ceiling Rent Plan - This plan provides residents the opportunity to save a considerable amount of money. Under this plan your rent is based on bedroom size. For instance, if you reside in a studio apartment you will never pay more than $400.00 for rent, even if your income increases considerably. If you reside in a one-bedroom apartment you will never pay more than $450.00, a two bedroom you will pay $500.00, a three bedroom you will pay $550.00, a four bedroom you will pay $600.00, and a five bedroom you will pay $700.00.
State Escrow Plan - Any employed resident living in a state aided apartment has the opportunity to save $10,000.00. The appeal of this plan is that you do not have to contribute to the savings program and money will be saved for you by the agency. This plan is outlined below:
- your household pays your regular monthly rent.
- a portion of the rent derived from earned wages is placed into a special escrow account.
- each $2.00 of your rent money placed into this account is matched by $1.00 from the Department of Housing and Community Development. The total maximum amount allowed to be saved in this escrow account is $10,000.00.
- these funds can only be used to move from a subsidized unit to a private unit or homeownership.
Homeownership Opportunities - The Residents Development Corporation (RDC) is a non-profit agency that builds homes for first time homebuyers and assists eligible residents through the process of buying homes.
Section 8 Family Self-sufficiency Opportunity This service is offered to participants of the Section 8 Program. The mission of the Family Self-Sufficiency Program is to motivate residents to become employed and get off of government assistance. Residents who participate in this program have an escrow savings account established for them. Residents are able to withdraw funds from their escrow account when there is a documented need that the funds are required to maintain economic self-sufficiency. Participants in this plan are required to attend four seminars annually. In the past, some of the seminars have dealt with Stress and Time Management, Budgeting Techniques, Nutritional Menus, and Resume Development. The FSS Program offers many incentives to residents.
Family Self Sufficiency Program
The Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS) is designed to help families receiving rental assistance to become self-supporting. This program is voluntary and open to all families receiving Section 8 assistance through the Lowell Housing Authority. The only requirements are a desire to become self-sufficient and a willingness to take the steps to make this happen. The FSS Program provides support and assistance to the entire family.
How does the FSS Program work? The head of household enters into a contract with the LHA. This contract contains a service plan that identifies the employment goals of the participant and outlines the activities and services necessary to achieve those goals. The FSS Director helps the family obtain the services listed in the plan. The LHA establishes a savings account when the family increases its earned income.
The FSS Director can help you find the services you need to become self-sufficient, such as:
Educational Programs, including GED classes
Programs such as the FSS Savings Account are established to help you and your family save money in order to become more self-sufficient. When your rent goes up due to an increase in your earnings, the amount of the increase will be placed in a savings account for you and your family. You will receive all of the money in your account, plus interest, when the FSS Contract is successfully completed.
To complete the program, you must be working and all family members must be off public assistance for at least the last 12 months of the contract. To find out more about the FSS Program contact Family Self-Sufficiency located at the Mercier Center, 21 Salem Street, Lowell, MA:
21 Salem Street