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Family Self-Sufficiency Program

The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program is a component of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and the Public Housing Program. FSS provides supportive services and financial incentives for HCV participants and Public Housing residents to become economically and socially self-sufficient.

Columbia Housing's Family Self-Sufficiency Program is a voluntary program. Columbia Housing has no mandatory FSS Program slots.

The purpose of Columbia Housing's Family Self-Sufficiency Program is to promote the development of local strategies to coordinate the use of HCV Housing Assistance with public and private resources and to enable families eligible to receive assistance under these programs to achieve economic independence and self-sufficiency.

The objective of the FSS Program is to reduce the dependency of low-income families on welfare assistance and on Housing Assistance. Under the FSS Program, families are provided opportunities for education, job training, counseling, and other forms of social service assistance while receiving HCV Housing Assistance so that they may obtain the education, employment, business, and social skills necessary to achieve self-sufficiency.

Each family that chooses to participate in the FSS Program must execute a Contract of Participation (COP). The COP incorporates the individual training and services plan including specific interim and final goals and sets forth the principal terms and conditions governing participation in the FSS Program. The COP shall be prepared in the format prescribed by HUD and executed by the head of the FSS family.

The head of the FSS family is required to seek and maintain suitable employment during the term of the contract. "Seek employment" means that the head of the FSS family has applied for employment, attended job interviews, and has otherwise followed through on employment opportunities. A determination of suitable employment shall be made by Columbia Housing based on the skills, education, job training of the head of the household and the availability of job opportunities.

An FSS escrow account shall be established for qualified families pursuant to HUD regulations. A family is eligible for an escrow contribution when there is an increase in earned income. Such escrow shall be established at the time of a recertification based on the interim recertification requirements described elsewhere in this Administrative Plan. Escrow contributions shall be credited monthly to each individual account and a statement of the account balance shall be issued at least annually following the close of Columbia Housing's fiscal year. Interest shall accrue at the actual amount paid by the financial institutions where the funds are on deposit.