Boston Housing Authority

For Section 8/Leased Housing > Resident Information > Family Self Sufficiency

Family Self Sufficiency

The Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS) helps families receiving rental assistance to ultimately support themselves. 

The program is voluntary and open to all families receiving Section 8/Leased Housing assistance through Boston Housing Authority (BHA). It is important that families interested in the program have a desire to become self-sufficient and are willing to act on that desire. The FSS Program provides support and assistance to the entire family for up to five years. Families who have completed the program can still reside in BHA housing, if eligible. 

How it Works

The head of household enters into a five-year contract with BHA. The contract identifies employment goals and outlines steps to achieve the goals with support from an FSS Coordinator. The FSS Coordinator assists families seeking job training, childcare, GED and other education programs, counseling and case management. 

Once a family increases their earned income, BHA will set up a savings account. This account is called an “escrow” account. 

The Escrow Account

If  a family qualifies and their rent goes up as a result of an increase in earnings, the amount of the increase will be placed in an escrow account. In the FSS program the family will pay the increase in rent and the BHA will deposit funds into a savings account which the family can use when the contract is successfully completed. This account will also include interest. 

To successfully complete the program, the head of household must be working and all family members must be off public assistance for at least the last year of the five-year contract.

How to Join

To find out more about the FSS Program, please contact your Leasing Officer.