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Family Self-Sufficiency

Public Housing Family Self-Sufficiency

A voluntary program available for both public housing and HCV Program participants to improve their economic situation and reduce their dependence on public assistance.

How does the FSS Program work?

The Head of Household enters into a Contract of Participation with the Greensboro Housing Authority. This contract contains an Individual Training and Service Plan that identifies the employment goal of the participant and outlines the activities and services necessary to achieve this goal. A Resident Service Coordinator helps the family obtain the services listed in the plan.

Services provided:

The Resident Service Coordinator helps the participant find the resources needed to become self-sufficient. Including but not limited to:

  • Job Training

  • Child Care Assistance

  • Educational Programs (including GED and College Classes)

  • Job, School, and Financial Application Assistance

  • Transportation Assistance

  • Employment Opportunities

  • Counseling/Case Management

The Escrow (Savings) Account:

When a participant’s rent increases due to an increase in earnings, the amount of the increase is placed in a savings account for the participant. A participant is eligible to receive all of the money in their account, plus interest, when the FSS Contract is successfully completed. Successful completion of the contract includes suitable employment, 12 consecutive months free of TANF (temporary assistance to needy families) for at least the last 12 months of contract and completion of all goals in the participant’s FSS Contract of Participation.

Public Housing Homeownership/Housing Counseling/Financial Fitness

GHA is a HUD-approved Housing Counseling Agency that provides homeownership programs for public housing residents and HCVP participants. The program provides education and training in budgeting and credit repair, connects clients to quality lenders and real estate agents, and exposes them to available housing opportunities

Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Family Self-Sufficiency Program

GHA’s HCV Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program is designed to assist families in achieving economic independence and self-sufficiency. It is a voluntary program that is open to all families that participate in the Housing Choice Voucher program. The best route to economic independence is a job that pays a living wage. The FSS Program assists participating families by linking them to a variety of services that will enable them to achieve the goals they set for themselves. In addition, the program provides a financial incentive that rewards families for earning higher incomes, by depositing funds accrued as a result of the increase in income into interest-bearing escrow accounts that is paid to the family upon graduation.

The following is a description of how the program works.

  • FSS Contract and Action Plan - Working with an FSS Case Manager, the participating family signs a FSS Contract of Participation (COP). The contract is a 5-year agreement that identifies the family’s goals. GHA and the family plan the services that are required to help the family meet its goals and the parties work closely together over the term of the contract to ensure the family’s success. At the end of the 5-year period (or the extended term of the contract), all family members must become free of welfare and the head of the household must maintain suitable employment. The family must comply with voucher and FSS program requirements.

  • Services Available - GHA has established relationships with social service agencies, schools, businesses and other local partners to develop a comprehensive program that gives participating FSS family members the skills and experience to enable them to achieve their goal and provides referrals that are based upon the family’s needs. The services and referrals available include, but are not limited to:

    • GED programs

    • Literacy and Remedial Education

    • College Degree Programs

    • Job Training, preparation and placement

    • Treatment and counseling for substance abuse

    • Credit and Budget Counseling

    • Homeownership Opportunities

  • Escrow Account - As FSS Program participants earn higher wages and move toward achieving the goal of earning a living wage, their rent share will increase according to program regulations. However, FSS program participants are rewarded each time their rent share increases because GHA deposits and amount that is equal to the participant’s increase in rent share each month into an Escrow Account. For an example, if the participant’s rent share increases by $50 a month, GHA will deposit $50 each month into an Escrow Account. The account earns interest and it is the property of the participant provided the participant abides by voucher and FSS program rules. The funds can be used to assist the participant in achieving interim goals and are paid out in full when the participant graduates.

  • Graduation and Eligibility for Continued Housing Assistance - The FSS program is a 5-year program that can be extended for up to 2 additional years under certain circumstances. To successfully complete the program, families must be in compliance with all program requirements with no member of the household receiving welfare cash assistance. The head of the household must be continuously employed for at least the last year of the contract. FSS families may remain on the voucher program and continue to receive rental subsidy as long as they qualify for assistance. The contract is also considered to be completed if 30% of the family’s monthly adjusted income exceeds GHA’s payment standard for their family size and the family becomes responsible for paying the entire contract rent.

Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program

GHA’s homeownership option is designed to promote and support homeownership by a ‘first-time’ homeowner. If you are a currently a participant in GHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program, you can continue to use your voucher to subsidize your rent payments or you can use your voucher to make owning a home affordable. The homeownership mortgage subsidy program works like the rental subsidy program with one key difference. The mortgage subsidy program provides an opportunity for you to achieve the American Dream of Homeownership.

  • Eligibility Requirements: Homeownership is available to individuals who have a voucher and have been participating in GHA’s Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program for at least one year. All households, including elderly and disabled heads-of-household are eligible to purchase a home. Other eligibility requirements are listed below. However, there are some exceptions to these requirements for households with disabled family members.

    • You must be a first time homebuyer.

    • You must have gross annual income of at least $15,000 (welfare assistance excluded) except for an elderly or disabled family, where the minimum income will be equal to the monthly SSI benefit for a single individual multiplied by twelve.

    • You must be continuously employed full-time for at least 2 years

    • You must not owe any debt to GHA or any other Housing Authority

    • You must have at least 1% of the cost of the down payment from your own funds

    • You must attend a Homeownership Briefing

    • You must attend a HUD approved Homeownership Counseling Program

    • You must attend Credit and Budget Counseling Programs

  • Value of Homeownership: Purchasing a home may be the largest single investment you will ever make. It is a way to build wealth and attain economic self-sufficiency. Through homeownership, you can ensure that your family will always have a decent, safe and sanitary place to call home. When selecting a home, location is an important factor. Choose a home that is located in a neighborhood where your home will have high value growth, and where you will have access to good paying jobs and high performing schools.

  • Who To Contact: For more information contact the Homeownership Coordinator (336) 303-3059

Greensboro Housing Authority
  • 450 North Church Street
  • Greensboro, NC 27401
  • 336-275-8501
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