Family Self Sufficiency

Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) is an employment based program designed to assist Oakland Housing Authority (OHA) families—who receive CalWORKs/TANF—become economically independent.  With the support of local agencies, FSS offers participants case management services, referrals to educational and job training opportunities and ongoing support to aid families as they improve their quality of life while achieving family and personal goals.  

How does the FSS Program work?
  • Families develop a 5-year plan with their FSS Coordinator.  The plan is used as a guide to meet your educational, financial, personal, and career goals.
  • Families receive assistance in meeting goals such as earning a high school diploma or college degree, finding a job, and improving credit scores.
  • As families report wage increases, their rent is adjusted prompting formation of an interest bearing escrow account maintained by OHA until the end of the program.
  • Families who successfully complete their contract of participation are eligible to graduate and receive the funds saved in an escrow account.

What services are offered to families in the FSS Program?
The FSS Program assists families to achieve economic self-sufficiency by providing referrals to the following supportive services:
  • Job preparation
  • Vocational training 
  • Education
  • Child Care
  • Financial literacy training
  • Transportation Assistance
  • Counseling 
  • Job Uniform and Tools Assistance

Who can apply?
  • Section 8 and Public Housing residents that are the Head of Household and 18 years of age or older
  • Residents who are in good standing regarding their lease and residency
  • Residents who are motivated to be self-sufficient

How do you successfully complete your Contract of Participation?
  • All adult household members must be free of cash assistance (CalWORKs/TANF) during the last 12 months of their contract term  
  • The Head of the FSS Family is suitably employed as outlined on their ITSP on the last day of the Contract of Participation.
  • If self-employed, earn at least minimum wage based on a 40 hour work week  
  • Head of household must be in good standing regarding lease and residency
  • Achieve the goals listed in your 5-year plan

If all requirements are met, the Head of Household will successfully complete their Contract of Participation and receive any accumulated funds in their escrow account.

Benefits of enrolling in the FSS Program:

  • Increase employment and wages
  • Increase assets and savings
  • Increase self-empowerment and confidence by achieving goals
  • Obtain employment and education consulting
  • Families have used the escrow savings for a down payment to purchase a home!