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HCV Family Self-Sufficiency Program

An Economic Independence Program of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority

The FSS Program is administered through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority’s (MSHDA) Housing Choice Voucher Rental Assistance Program. MSHDA provides housing assistance, an interest-bearing escrow account, and the general coordination of the FSS program. Families living in assisted housing are often subject to a multitude of personal and financial troubles including a dependence on social service programs, and a limited ability to change their status. Families often want out of this situation, but feel they are faced with unsurmountable barriers. The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program provides for coordination of local, community-based resources that promote economic independence for families living in assisted housing. Let yourself envision a future where you are in control.

Would you like to own your own home?

Have you ever wanted to finish school?

Would you like to improve your income or even pay off debts?

As a HCV Participant these are some of the things you may choose to do if you become a successful FSS Participant. As a FSS Participant:

  • Your Rental Assistance status will not change. You will continue to receive rental assistance like you currently do now.
  • Your portion of the rent will continue to be based on your income.
  • When your earned income increases, MSHDA will deposit funds into a FSS escrow account .
  • Whether you are currently employed, unemployed, or in school, you will receive assistance in establishing employment and/or education goals.
  • At the successful completion of the contract, the head of household receives escrow monies.
  • Escrow funds can be used towards a down payment for a home, educational expenses, or to pay off debt.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Current participant in MSHDA’s HCV Rental Assistance Program.
  • Enter into a contract where along with your FSS Resource Coordinator, step-by-step goals will be developed and monitored for your achievement.

Program Obligations

  • The head of the household must seek and maintain suitable employment.
  • The head of the household must complete activities (goals) defined in the individual training and services plan.
  • All family members must be independent of cash welfare assistance for the final twelve months of the FSS contract.
  • Participants must attend Financial Management/Economic Literacy counseling and will be preassessed for homeownership eligibility.

Your FSS Resource Coordinator can assist you towards a self-sufficient pathway by:

  • Assessing Individual Needs
  • Coordinating Available Resources
  • Goal Setting & Monitoring

How the Escrow Account Works

The family pays a portion of its housing costs relative to the family’s income and MSHDA subsidizes the balance. When the family’s income increases, the family pays more money monthly for rent.

Under the FSS program, as the tenant pays more for rent, MSHDA makes a monthly deposit into their account based on the amount their rent changes due to change in their earned income.

Example: Based on 30% of monthly-adjusted income.

Rent at begin date of initial FSS Contract:

Rent for unit is $500
Family’s rent portion is $100 –
MSHDA's portion to landlord is  $400

Six months later family’s income increases.

Rent for unit is $500
Family’s rent portion is $200 –
MSHDA’s portion to landlord is  $300

FSS earned escrow monies per month would be $100. MSHDA originally paid $400 and now pays $300 (400 – 300 = 100).

Note: Increases in assistance payments, child support, etc. will affect the rent, but will not put money into the FSS account.

The future may be brighter than you think!
Please contact a MSHDA FSS Specialist for more information:
Office of Housing Voucher Programs
Empowering individuals and families today for a better tomorrow!