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Leased Housing Family & Resident Services Resident Opportunities & Self-Sufficiency

Family Self-Sufficiency Program


Program Information

The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program is a voluntary program designed to help participating households increase their earned income through educational, employment, and financial services and training. Furthermore, the FSS program allows participants to save money when their rent increases as a result of increased earned income in the family.

The FSS program is available to residents of federal public housing and to Section 8 voucher holders. This program does not affect your housing benefit in any way.

Some services offered through the FSS Program:

    - Individualized case management services
    - Tell us what your goals are and we will work with you to accomplish them.
    - Identifying and overcoming barriers to success
    - We provide assistance coordinating childcare, transportation services, etc.
    - Education planning
    - Do you want to go back to school? Let us help!
    - Career Planning
    - Do you want a job or a better paying job? We can help with that too.
    - Financial Planning
    - Let’s work together to create a budget
    - We can help you reduce your debt and increase your credit score
    - Homeownership Planning
    - We can help you make your homeownership dream a reality!

Those who choose to join the program first undergo an orientation and assessment with a case manager, followed by the development of a personalized service plan, or ITSP. All participants also enter into a five year Contract of Participation with the WHA. During these five years, case manager and client work together to achieve the goals and objectives outlined in the service plan.

Program Benefits

By joining the FSS program you have much to gain and nothing to lose. Some benefits include:

    - Escrow Account
    - An escrow account is an interest-bearing account established by the Worcester Housing Authority on behalf of an FSS family. Deposits are made to this account when the family’s rent increases as a result of increased earned income in the FSS family household. The Head of Household will receive the escrow account funds when they have completed the goals established in their individual training and service plan.
    - Access to FREE Summer Camp and After-School Programming

    - Workshops & Training
    - Families participating in the FSS program have access to specialized workshops and trainings – onsite, offsite, and online. Some examples include:
    - Interview Techniques & Job Search
    - The Art of Customer Service
    - Budgeting & Savings
    - Credit & Borrowing
    - Couponing
    - Microsoft Word & Excel
    - HCV Homeownership Program
    - If you are a member of the FSS Program and you have a Section 8 voucher, you become eligible to take advantage of our Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program! Click here for more details!

In order to successfully complete the program:

    - The head of household must accomplish the goals and objectives outlined in their individual training and service plan, and
    - The head of the household must be employed and provide written certification that no member of the family has received cash assistance for at least twelve consecutive months prior to graduation, or
    - 30% of the family's monthly adjusted income equals or exceeds the fair market rent amount for the unit size for which the family qualifies (Section 8 families only)
Follow this link to view some of our most frequently asked questions: FAQ

If you are interested in joining or have further questions, please contact us at:

Worcester Housing Authority
Family & Resident Services
Phone: (508) 635-3271
Office: 34 Great Brook Valley Avenue, Suite 2
Email: questions@worcesterha.org


Worcester Housing Authority
630A Plantation Street
Worcester, MA 01605
Phone: 508-635-3000
Hours: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM