Family Self-Sufficiency

Program Summary

The Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS) offers HPD Section 8 tenants assistance to career planning, job training and case management, and continuing education along with the opportunity to accumulate substantial savings. When an FSS household income increases due to employment earnings, the increase in the tenant share of the rent is matched in a savings account that becomes available to the household upon successful completion of the program.

HPD Section 8 tenants who are interested in learning more and applying for the FSS program may call HPD at 212-863-7200.

Program Structure 

HPD partners with five agencies that provide education support, job placement services and financial couseling, including:

  • La Guardia Community College 
  • Church Avenue Merchant Block Association (CAMBA)
  • Nothern Manhattan Improvement Corporation (NMIC)
  • BronxWorks
  • Department of Consumer Affairs, Office of Financial Empowerment, Neighborhood Trust

How the Program Works

1. Create a plan: HPD staff and the participant devise a 5-year plan that outlines career goals and objectives.
2. Continuing education: Participants may enroll at LaGuardia Community College in a variety of courses, programs, and skills training sessions.
3. Develop savings: As the participant's income from employment rises, the amount of their subsequent rental increase is deposited into a private, tax-free escrow savings account.
4. Achieve goals and receive savings: Upon graduating from the 5-year program, the particpant receives the escrow savings.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I enroll in the FSS program?
You can enroll by calling HPD at 212-863-7200 and making an appointment with an HPD case manager, by contacting a CBO in your borough, or by attending an enrollment event (advertised to HPD Section 8 voucher holders).

Can I graduate from FSS and remain on Section 8?
Yes. If you are still eligible for the voucher program, you can continue to use your Section 8 voucher.

Will my FSS savings account affect my income eligibility for Section 8?
No. While you must report the total amount that you earn in savings for your HPD voucher upon recertification, it is not counted toward determining eligibility.

Will my FSS savings be taxed?
The IRS will not count the funds in the account or the interest earned as income subject to taxation. 

What are some examples of careers for FSS graduates?
Graduates have become certified nursing aides, chefs, medical billing specialists, medical assistants, legal secretaries, and maintenance technicians, among others.

If my income increases to the point that I leave Section 8 before my five year FSS contract is complete, will I received my escrow balance?
Yes. Termination from Section 8 due to "not rent hardship" counts as successful completion of the FSS contract and you will recieve your escrow balance.

 

HPD's FSS Program is only available to tenants receiving Section 8 issued by HPD. Tenants receiving Section 8 from the New York City Housing Authority or the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal should contact those agencies for information about their FSS programs.