How Family Self Sufficiency Works

Families selected to participate in the Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) program must meet the general eligibility criteria of the Public Housing and Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program. They are assigned a family advocate who helps them target specific goals for success and plan strategies to reach them.

FSS participants qualify for substantial assistance in getting services like child care, education, job training, transportation, parenting skills and health care.

Money In The Bank

During each family’s period of FSS participation AHA sets up an escrow account for them.

As each families earning power and wages grow the family’s share of rent under the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program or Public Housing Program goes up. Instead of charging these families more rent, AHA credits the family’s increased portion of rent to their escrow account every month.

The money in these escrow accounts is presented to each participating family when they complete their period of Family Self Sufficiency participation.

Sweet Success

Since AHA began its Family Self Sufficiency program in 1993, we have disperse over $100,000 to our Family Self Sufficiency graduates from their Family Self Sufficiency escrow accounts This money can be used by the grads any way they choose, but many have made down payments on their first homes.

Patricia came to Albuquerque in 2004, starting over as a single parent of two. She had a plan to start fresh by going back to school for a degree and a career she could raise her family with. After four years and no progress, Patricia enrolled in Central New Mexico Community College, earning an Associate’s Degree in Pre-Management. In January of 2008, Patricia also became a participant on the Albuquerque Housing Authority (AHA) Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program. While working full-time, she signed a five year contract with the Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS) in 2011, subsequently leaving her job to enroll in the Anderson School at the University of New Mexico, earning a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in 2013. After earning her degree, she was able to apply for and was hired by AHA in 2014 and earned the first AHA Core Value Award. She graduated from the FSS Program in January and purchased her first home in March of 2016. Today, Patricia remains in her position at AHA helping her clients achieve their goals in the same way AHA helped her.

“I am so grateful for Albuquerque Housing because I would not be where I am now without their help. The voucher allowed me finish my degree and the FSS program gave me the opportunity to buy my home”