HUD Issues Two Family Self-Sufficiency Guides

To celebrate 25 years of the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program, HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) and Office of Multifamily Housing Programs (Multifamily) each issued FSS guidebooks for their respective programs. The guidebooks provide information about promising practices that can help PHAs and private owners establish and run effective FSS programs.

FSS helps households who volunteer to participate in the program increase their earnings and build financial capability and assets by providing them with:

  • A financial incentive to increase their earnings in the form of an escrow savings account that increases as their earnings increase.
  • Case management or coaching to help participants access services that they might need to overcome barriers to employment, strengthen financial capability, and address other challenges.

Public housing residents and Housing Choice Voucher participants could have participated in an FSS program for 25 years. Some public housing agencies (PHAs) are required to administer FSS programs, while others are not. Congress has appropriated $75 million for PHA FSS programs in recent years.

Participation in FSS for HUD-assisted multifamily housing was authorized relatively recently by the “Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2015,” but Congress has not appropriated FSS funds for Multifamily. Private owners of HUD-assisted multifamily housing may use residual receipts to hire FSS program coordinators. Notice H-2016-08 implemented FSS policies and procedures for Multifamily housing (see Memo, 9/6/16).

The PHA-tailored guidebook, Administering an Effective Family Self-Sufficiency Program: A Guidebook Based on Evidence and Promising Practices, is at:

PIH has an online FSS training based on the guidebook at:

The Multifamily oriented guidebook, Family Self-Sufficiency Program: Guidebook for Owners of Project-Based Section 8 Developments, is at:

Multifamily has a new FSS website at:

Notice H-2016-08 is at: