The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program can help you increase your skill levels, education, and employment, to become self-supporting. The FSS Program is open to households, with or without children, which meet our eligibility requirements (see below).
This program is voluntary and open to all families receiving a Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8). YHA is required to provide service to families living in project based & Nueva Primavera units. The program combines stable and affordable housing with staff support to help participants get access to what they need to reach their goals. The program also contributes money to a savings account on behalf of participants as their income from employment increases.
More information about the program is contained in the video and program outline below:
Family Self-Sufficiency Basics
The program has two main components:
• Support from a case manager
• Contributions to a special savings (escrow) account
You will work with an FSS Coordinator who will help you create a life plan for up to five years. The plan will include specifics about your individual goals, the steps you will need to take to reach those goals, and referrals to services that can help you accomplish your goals.
Examples of the services you will be connected to include:
• job readiness and/or job search
• vocational training
• help obtaining a high school diploma or GED
• help getting into college
• financial education and credit repair
• transportation assistance
Escrow Savings Account
As you begin earning higher wages, your Yakima Housing Authority rent also increases. Part of the increased rent that you pay is matched by the Housing Authority and deposited every month to a special bank account for you. As this account grows, part of the money in it can be used to pay for things that will help you meet your goals. These funds may be used to help with the costs associated with employment, education, starting a small business, home ownership or other things that can help you accomplish your goals.
When you successfully accomplish your goals, or make enough money to pay market rent, you will receive any money remaining in the account.
Enrolling in the program
Here are the requirements for participating in the program:
1. You must not owe back rent, or damages, or in default in a repayment plan with the Yakima Housing Authority.
2. You must be willing and able to commit to setting, and working, toward accomplishing goals which will increase your skills, education, and employment status.
3. You must agree to meet, and communicate regularly, with the FSS Coordinator, and share updates on the progress you are making toward your goals.
4. You must be independent of TANF before you can graduate from the program.
5. You must adhere to the requirements of your lease.
If you are interested in participating in the Family Self Sufficiency Program, please read, fill out, and submit an FSS Interest Form, available here. If you would like to apply please complete the FSS Intake forms, available here. The Spanish version of the FSS Intake form is available here.
Once you complete the form and submit it to us, you will be placed on the waiting list for the program. When we reach your name on the list, we will invite you to an orientation to learn more about the program.
For more information about the Family Self-Sufficiency Program, please call (509)453-3106 Ext. 117 or 119.
If you are interested in learning more about Financial Coaching, Counseling & Education Service Providers click here.
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