BOONTON, NJ (Morris County) – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Thursday awarded approximately $1.5 million to 13 public housing authorities (PHAs) to help residents of public housing and voucher-assisted housing increase their earned income and savings.
The Boonton Housing Authority in Boonton, NJ was awarded $72,000.
“Today’s funding is a good example of how HUD works to help connect families to jobs and educational opportunities,” said HUD Acting Secretary Matt Ammon. “HUD is committed to helping assisted residents build skills and engage in careers. It is a core part of our mission.”
“The Family Self-Sufficiency Program is a pathway to financial independence for public housing and voucher-assisted residents,” said Justin Scheid, HUD Newark Field Office Director. “Today’s announcement will provide $72,000 to Boonton Housing Authority to make the FSS Program available to its residents. The program will connect residents with supports and local resources that allow them to achieve their personal goals to enhance their quality of life and long-term economic well-being.”
HUD’s Family Self -Sufficiency (FSS) Program funding helps local public housing authorities to hire Service Coordinators who work directly with residents to connect them with existing programs and services in the local community. These Service Coordinators build relationships with networks of local service providers, who provide direct assistance to FSS participants. The broad spectrum of services made possible through FSS enables participating families to find jobs, increase earned income, and access opportunities to improve their long-term economic well-being.
Participants in the program sign a five-year contract of participation requiring the head of household to set specific goals and achievements allowed under the FSS Program. To successfully graduate, the head of household must be employed and no member of the FSS family may have received cash assistance for twelve months prior to program graduation. Families in the FSS program have an interest-bearing escrow account established for them. The amount credited to the family’s escrow account is based on increases in rent due to improvement in the family’s earned income during the term of the FSS contract. Upon successful graduation, the head of household receives the escrow funds and is able to apply those funds to advance their personal circumstances, including, for example, paying educational expenses or making a down-payment on a home.
Due to COVID, HUD did not receive applications for FSS renewal funding from every eligible PHA with an existing FSS Program. As a result, the Department issued a supplemental Notice of Funding Opportunity inviting those eligible PHAs with FSS Programs to apply competitively for the residual FY 2020 funds.