Jamal and Muna* live in a Scott County Community with their five children, ages 6 to 17. They have worked hard over the past 10 years to improve their economic situation and become self-sufficient. This family started living in a CDA project-based unit in 2010, and in 2013 they were able to receive a Housing Choice Voucher, which enabled them to move to a home of their choice while staying in the same city. On September 30, 2019, they graduated from the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program with great success as they were able to purchase a home and no longer need rental-assistance.
When this family entered the FSS program in 2014, only Jamal was working; Muna was taking care of the younger children and wanted to go back to school to get her nursing degree. During her time in the program, Muna ended up changing her degree to Social Work, and in 2018 graduated with a bachelor’s degree! In January of 2019, she started full time with a local social service agency in a job that pays well and gives her the flexibility to manage her children’s schedules. Jamal worked as a truck driver during the time that the family received assistance. This family took the Homebuyers Club workshop through the CDA, worked on their credit, and successfully completed all their FSS goals over and above what they thought they could accomplish at the beginning of the program. Upon graduation, this family:
- Was able to obtain education – Muna graduated with a degree in Social Work and now works full time at a social service agency for people with disabilities.
- Was able to purchase a home in the same community where they have been living for the last 10 years through completion of the Scott County CDA’s Homebuyers Club and one-on-one homebuyer counseling during which time they were able to work on credit repair and debt management.
This family has goals beyond what they achieved in the FSS program. They have used their escrow funds to put some money into savings and pay for some expenses of purchasing a home. They would also like to pay off their mortgage as soon as possible. Muna encourages her children to attend college.
Muna feels the FSS program was very beneficial to her family; the education and resources were helpful, and that the escrow funds enabled her family to purchase a home and have money in savings to deal with financial issues as they arise.
What is the Family Self Sufficiency Program?
A CDA program for working families that enables households that receive rental assistance to improve their educational and employment status to achieve a greater measure of economic self-sufficiency. Each participant is able to explore their individual/family and educational goals for a 5-year term with Program Coordinator Katie. Katie reviews goals and helps monitor progress. This program is employment-based, so as the participant’s earned income increases, the rent subsidy that the CDA pays is reduced, and that savings is set-aside in an escrow account, which the participant can access when they successfully graduate from the program. Upon graduation, participants can use their funds to invest in education, start a business, get reliable transportation, or even use it for a down payment on a home.
Story from Katie, Housing Specialist
*Names are changed