The Most Northeastern City in the United States.

Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS)

Caribou Municipal Building
25 High St
Caribou, Maine 04736
Lisa Plourde, Executive Director
Sue Ouellette, FSS/Homeownership
Phone: (207) 493-4234
Fax: (207) 376-0178
E-mail: housing@cariboumaine.org

 

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The Caribou Housing Agency has moved!  We are now located on the first floor of the Caribou Municipal Building.

Equal Housing Opportunity

Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) is a HUD program that encourages PHAs to develop local strategies to help voucher families obtain employment that will increase their economic independence and self-sufficiency.  The PHA works with welfare agencies, schools, businesses, and other local partners to administer a comprehensive program that gives participating FSS family member the skills and experience to enable them to obtain employment that pays a living wage.

Services Provided

FSS program services may include, but are not limited to:

  • child care
  • transportation
  • education
  • job training and employment counseling
  • substance/alcohol abuse treatment or counseling
  • household skill training
  • homeownership counseling

Family Requirements

The PHA and the head of each participating family execute an FSS contract of participation that specifies the rights and responsibilities of both parties.  The five-year FSS contract specifies goals and services for each family.  Family members must fulfill all requirements in order to obtain full benefits.

The FSS contract requires that the family comply with the lease, that all family members become independent of welfare, and that the head of the family seek and maintain suitable employment for at least one year.  Possible sanctions for noncompliance with the FSS contract are termination from the FSS program, forfeiture of the FSS escrow account,  and withholding or termination of supportive services.

FSS Escrow Account

An interest-bearing FSS account is established by the PHA for each participating family. This escrow credit is based on increases in the family’s earned income which is credited to this account by the PHA after execution of the FSS contract.  The escrow account is available to teh family during the term of the contract to enable the family to complete an agreed upon interim goal such as education.

If the family completes the contract with no member of the family receiving welfare cash assistance and has been continually employed for at least one year, the balance of the FSS escrow account will be 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.

FSS Contract Completed and Rental Assistance

Although it is hoped that families will not longer need housing assistance upon completion of the FSS program, some families that complete the program will still need assistance for housing.  The regulation states that a family may complete its FSS contract and receive its escrow while continuing to receive housing assistance under the voucher program.

For More Information,

Contact the Family Self-Sufficiency Coordinator, Sue Ouellette at (207) 493-4234 or at souellette@cariboumaine.org.