ABOUT THE SELF-SUFFICIENCY PROGRAM (SSP)
At the inception of 2021, the Lowell Housing Authority (LHA) began to offer the State Self-Sufficiency Program (SSP) through funding awarded by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).
With an annual funding award of $70,000.00, this innovative program will provide employment, education, and asset-building support to interested State-Aided Public Housing and Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) families over a three-year contract period (with the opportunity to renew for two additional years, one year at a time, if additional time is needed for goal completion).
As participants increase their earned income which results in a rent increase, the difference between the baseline rent and the new rent amount is placed in an escrow account on their behalf. Participants are permitted to utilize these funds to further their education, employment, and asset-building goals. After the completion of one interim goal, the participant may request an interim disbursement of escrow funds while enrolled in SSP to be utilized towards credit repair and/or debt reduction goals as it is recognized that these are frequently barriers to financial independence.
Residents ages 18-24 years who are not the Head of Household and participate in the program by meeting with the SSP Director a minimum of four times a year will receive a financial incentive of $250.00/year.
Participants who identify home ownership as an SSP contract goal may be eligible for a home-buying incentive from DHCD if they move out of Public Housing or give up their Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) subsidy.
With prior authorization from the SSP Director, the Lowell Housing Authority will cover the cost of the First Time Homebuyer’s Course at the Merrimack Valley Housing Partnership (MVHP) for those participants who are working on a home ownership goal.
Services for which referrals can be made on behalf of participants include but are not limited to the following: financial literacy education, resume’ development & employment search, educational courses, childcare, transportation, nutritional programs, etc.
SSP offers 1-on-1 support to assist you in bringing your dreams to fruition and priority access to resources/giveaways provided by community organizations.
The only program requirement is your willingness to work toward and maintain employment.
|Cost-Free Resources to Assist You at Every Step of the Way|
|Connection to Resources for Job Training|
|Money Management Counseling for Credit Building, Debt Reduction & Credit Repair|
|After School Program Resources|
|Identify & Assist with Transportation Needs & Understanding Finance Options|
|Home Ownership Counseling|
|Assistance with Exploring Higher Education & Career Paths|
|The difference between starting rent & new rent amount will be placed in escrow & available upon goal completion to be used for homeownership, pay-down debt, education, etc. Interim withdrawal can be utilized to pay off debt to help improve credit score.|
|Initial 3-year contract can renew up to 2 additional years at discretion of SSP Director, 1 year at a time.
Individual Case Management
Resources for Success
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE
1. State-Aided and MRVP Residents of Lowell Housing Authority.
2. LHA Residents 18-24 years who are not Head of Household.
SET GOALS SPECIFIC TO YOUR PROGRAM
Determine your goals with your SSP Director. Together we will design a program to meet those goals. Whether you want job training, advancing your education, purchasing transportation, home ownership, etc. our resources will guide you each step of the way.
HOW TO PROCEED WITH APPLICATION
Contact your SSP Director for detailed eligibility and contract information at: 978-364-5332