The House of Representatives passed on January 16 the “Family Self Sufficiency Act” (HR 4258) under a “suspension of the rules,” a designation intended to speed passage of noncontroversial bills. The bill, introduced by Representatives Sean Duffy (R-WI) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), permanently reauthorizes the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program, combines the FSS programs for Housing Choice Vouchers and public housing, which are currently run separately, and expands eligibility to include families in privately owned properties subsidized with HUD project-based rental assistance. The program would also offer new services for financial literacy and educational attainment. The bill will now move to the Senate.
The FSS program has bi-partisan and bi-cameral support. The House bill mirrors the bi-partisan Senate bill introduced by Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Jack Reed (D-RI) in June 2017 (see Memo, 6/19). Representative Cleaver voiced his support for the bill on the House floor, sharing a personal story and stating that “this program would help countless numbers of people who want to take advantage of the help that the federal government can give them with housing, but at the same time, work and strive toward independence.” He cited NLIHC and other partner organizations as supporters of the bill.
Since its establishment, the FSS program has enabled families living in public or project-based assisted housing or using Housing Choice Vouchers to access workforce training and other resources to pursue higher paying employment opportunities. Families enrolled in the FSS program receive an interest-bearing escrow account, allowing them to save and apply those savings to work-related, and education-related expenses.
Read more about the House bill at: http://bit.ly/2muPhC4
Read a letter from NLIHC and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities supporting the bill at: http://bit.ly/2zU5cPA