Grant Enables HUD To Assist Low-Income Families

April 5, 2011  |  

By Charlotte Young

A $54 million grant from the US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is connecting low-income families with education and job training in order to restore hopes of self-sufficiency.

The grant is funded through HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Family Self-Sufficiency Program (HCV/FSS). Under the grant, public housing agencies (PHAs) in the US will work with welfare agencies, schools and local partners, as well as hire coordinators, to provide adults with job training, childcare, counseling, transportation and job placement services.

To participate in the program, the head of the household in a family must sign a contract that requires him or her to get a job, which the program will assist the participant in securing. As a greater income is earned, a portion is placed in an interest-bearing escrow account.  At the end of the five year program, the family will no longer receive welfare assistance, but will have full access to the account for any needed purpose.

Families must already be signed up for HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program to benefit from the resources offered in the FSS program.

According to, HUD’s new study proves the effectiveness of the FSS Program for those who are able to complete it. Participants are shown to be more financially stable compared to those who are not members of the program.

Secretary of HUD Shaun Donovan calls the program “critical.”

“The research demonstrates that this program works. When families are given the tools they need to move beyond the voucher program, they do.”

A third study expected to begin this year by HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research will finalize the results of the FSS program.

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