The Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS) helps families in the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Section 8 program achieve self-sufficiency and accumulate substantial savings.
The FSS program provides education, job training, job placement, and financial literacy services to participants. When household income increases from 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 partners with five organizations that provide education, job training, job placement, and financial literacy services.
1. Develop a Plan: HPD staff and FSS participants create a 5-year plan outlining career-related goals and objectives.
2. Explore Opportunities: Participants may enroll in a variety of courses, programs, and skills trainings through program partners.
3. Work and Grow Savings: As household income increases due to employment, the increase in the tenant share of the rent is matched in a savings account.
4. Receive Savings: Upon successful completion of the program, participants receive the accumulated savings - on average about $6,968!
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 receive 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 (NYCHA) or the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (HCR) should contact those agencies for information about their FSS programs.