HCV Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS)
FSS Program is a voluntary five year program available to Monterey County families receiving assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) with the Housing Authority of the County of Monterey (HACM). The program is designed to help families become financially independent of cash aid assistance by obtaining employment. Successful participating families are rewarded with a savings account that is established by the HACM. Additionally, the HACM’s commitment to its program participants is solidified by the HACM partnering and collaborating with a variety of local service providers that are equally interested in helping families reach their goal of self sufficiency. Services may include career counseling, education (GED and beyond), financial literacy, job training, parenting skills, and homeownership preparation – all provided to you by a bilingual staff interested in celebrating your success on the FSS Program.
To be eligible for participation in the FSS program, you must:
- Be a voucher holder receiving rental assistance through the HACM
- Agree to comply with the terms and conditions of your lease
- Be willing and able to seek and maintain employment during the term of the FSS Contract of Participation
What requirements must a family meet to participate in the FSS program?
The Five-Year FSS Contract of Participation (COP) specifies goals and services for each participant designated as head of household for the FSS program. FSS participants must fulfill all requirements in order to successfully complete the program and be eligible for evaluation of graduation from the program and ultimately receive the FSS escrow funds at the end of their program participation. Also, the FSS COP requires that the family comply with the lease, that all family members become independent of welfare, and that the FSS head of household for the family seek and maintain suitable employment. Possible sanctions of noncompliance with the FSS contract are termination from the FSS Program, forfeiture of the FSS escrow account, and withholding and/or termination of supportive services.
What is the FSS escrow account?
HACM establishes an interest-bearing FSS Escrow Account for each participating family. An FSS Escrow Account is based on increases in earned income of the family and is credited to the account during the term of the FSS COP. The HACM may make a portion of this escrow account available to the family during the term of the contract to enable the family to complete an interim goal such as education.
When a participating family successfully completes the COP and no member of the family is receiving cash assistance, the amount of the FSS escrow account is paid to the head of the family. If the PHA terminates the FSS contract, or if the family fails to complete the contract before its expiration, the family’s FSS escrow funds are forfeited. Click here for English or here for Spanish to view more information about how the FSS Escrow Account works .
HACM administers a very successful FSS program with over 222 graduates since its inception in Monterey County in 1994. Let us help you on your journey towards self-sufficiency. Click here for English or here for Spanish to view our FSS Brochure. Check us out and “like” us on our Facebook page.
Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program: As an extension of the HCV program, the HACM provides assistance to eligible families who purchase a home by applying existing HCV towards a monthly mortgage payment instead of applying it towards their monthly rental payment. Eligible families may qualify for a maximum period of fifteen (15) years of monthly mortgage assistance if the initial mortgage incurred to finance a home has a term of at least twenty (20) years or longer. The program includes homeownership education, credit counseling, and credit repair. But more importantly, potential homeowners have access to housing partners that are qualified to answer their questions about the home buying process.
Promoting Opportunities Work Education and Resources/POWER Project:
The Power Project was created as a tool for adult family members presently receiving HCV assistance, that are unemployed, not enrolled in school, or participating in a vocational training program. The program is intended to personally assist them with job search, community resources or to guide them towards their personal education goals.