Housing Choice Voucher Program

Family Self Sufficiency Program

Deborah Smedley — "As a single mom with 5 kids it was a challenge, but the AMHA's FSS Program helped me get my degree and a successful career in Information Systems Management."

Joan Norris — "I was able to get my nursing degree and now I'm working as an R.N. at Summa Health System and looking into buying my own home."

Joseph Reid, Jr. — "The FSS program helped me while I managed the family business, enrolled in college courses, and eventually I plan to buy a home with the help of my escrow account."

Diana Benes — "Anastasia and I have come a long way since I signed my FSS contract. I became a State Certified Nursing Assistant, almost doubled my income and bought a home in my old neighborhood."

The AMHA Family Self Sufficiency Program was established to help Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Program Residents become economically self sufficient. The "path to self sufficiency" varies for each Family Self Sufficiency Participant and can include goals such as going back to school...finding a better paying job...getting bills under control...buying a house! The Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) Program can help you make these plans become a reality!

The basic steps to participate in the FSS Program are:

  • Step #1 You must be in AMHA housing and call to receive complete an application to be placed on the FSS Wait List. You will be contacted when a program slot is available.
  • Step #2 We meet to sign the FSS Contract of Participation and to help you establish and document goals, as well as identify resources that will help you become more independent and less dependent on any kind of subsidy.
  • Step #3 Once you either begin working or your current working income increases, you may begin earning "escrow" which is a savings account that you will receive at the end of the successful completion of the FSS Contract. (Every time your rent increases due to earned (working) income, the difference in new rent from the previous rent is set aside in an escrow account and earns interest – which is the money you receive tax free upon successful completion of your goals).

Let us help you along your Path to self Sufficiency!! Please contact Brenna Cobb, Family Self Sufficiency Coordinator at 330-376-9406 or bcobb@akronhousing.org

We are currently in the process of implementing the Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Option which has been established at a 50 voucher program size. Our Homeownership Option will begin with inquiry letters sent to Housing Choice Voucher Program participants that includes basic requirements for consideration into the Homeownership Option such as earned income requirements, length of employment, credit requirements, and program allowances for disabled participants. Interested participants will attend an informational session and have a credit/financial assessment to determine mortgage readiness. Clients will be referred for the required classes in accordance to this assessment. A homeownership voucher will be issued when a client has met all requirements and is deemed eligible.

Summary of FSS Graduates July 1, 2002 thru June 30, 2003:

Nine residents in Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Program graduated from the FSS program during the past year with escrow disbursements totaling $57,284.44.

Of the nine graduates, four are now homeowners and one is in the process of completing paperwork for a home to be built. All of the FSS graduates continue their career growth through employment and/or furthering their college education.

Educational background information for the FSS graduates includes:

  • 4 have high school diplomas (includes some vocational training, Ohio Peace Officers Training, and Academy of Court Reporting for Private Investigators)
  • 2 have Bachelor's degrees in Child & Family Development from the University of Akron of which one is currently enrolled in Graduate Studies
  • 1 graduated with an Associate of Applied Business in Office Administration from the University of Akron Community & Tech College
  • 1 graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and is now a Substitute Teacher and Mortgage Loan Officer
  • 1 is licensed as a Registered Nurse, has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Case Western Reserve University, and a Masters of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) from Case Western University
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