On Thursday, February 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that $74 million would be awarded through the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program to selected public housing agencies across the nation.
The Pinellas County Housing Authority was awarded $114,000. The money will continue to fund and develop programs that link residents with local community organizations that provide training and skill workshops for employment. Through the FSS program, residents become gainfully employed and more financially stable and independent. Over the course of a five-year contract, participants are expected to remain employed while an escrow account accumulates funds based on progress and earned income. After successfully completing the five-year contract, residents can then use that money to repay debt, pay for education, or buy a home.
Studies conducted by HUD have proven both the effectiveness of FSS programs and the increased financial stability of residents who complete the five-year contract.