Successful Family Self Sufficiency Program Gets Additional $276,000 -
The D.C. Housing Authority has been awarded a $276,000 grant from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to link low-income families with the necessary education and job training to put them on the path to self-sufficiency.
Funded through HUD's Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) Family Self-Sufficiency Program, the grant will allow DCHA to expand its work with welfare agencies, schools, businesses, and other local partners that help individuals already participating in HCVP increase their education or gain marketable skills that will enable them to obtain jobs that pay a living wage.
"When families are given the tools they need to improve their lives, they do," said Todman. "Ultimately, they become self-sufficient and more vouchers become available for other families, some who have been waiting for long periods to receive housing assistance."
Curently 206 families participate in the FSS program.
"Last year, the FSS Program graduated more than 40 participants: 11 became new homeowners and five gave up their vouchers and are no longer on any type of public assistance. "This program plays a key role in carrying out our mission," Todman added.
The funding allows local housing authorities to hire caseworkers or coordinators to link adults to local organizations that provide job training, childcare, counseling, transportation and job placement. Participants sign a five-year contract that requires the head of household to set goals to obtain full-time employment.
As an FSS family's income rises, a portion of that increased income is deposited in an interest-bearing escrow account. If the family completes its FSS contract, the family receives the escrow funds that it can use for any purpose, including paying educational expenses, paying back debts or as a down payment to purchase a home.