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The Family Self-Sufficiency Program

The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program is a five-year program that enables residents of federally-assisted housing to save a portion of their rent when their income increases. POAH was the first private owner to offer FSS after Congress extended eligibility to Section 8 assisted properties in 2015.

POAH partners with mission driven financial service organizations, like Compass Working Capital (Boston, MA), Community Services League (Independence, MO) and Cincinnati Works (Cincinnati, OH) to offer individualized financial coaching to all FSS participants.

This pioneering approach to FSS enables participants to access financial tools and build the skills and confidence to achieve their personal and financial goals. Read more about this innovative FSS program model in POAH and Compass Working Capital’s white paper, Promoting Economic Mobility in Multifamily Housing: Initial Outcomes from Family Self-Sufficiency Programs.


Among graduates of POAH first FSS programs, 97% exit the program with savings. On average, graduates save more than $7,650 in escrow in less than 5 years (some participants save well over $20,000). Unemployment rates among graduates decreased from 30% to just 3%, while full time employment rates increased by 40%. Additionally, graduates make meaningful gains in credit improvement and debt reduction, enabling them to leverage their escrow savings for long term financial stability. Since launching the program in 2016, POAH residents have saved well over $1.1 million. Read the latest FSS report:


Resident Stories

Click on the images below to learn about the personal experiences of our residents in the FSS program:


Marta                                                         Pizzaro Family


Christina                                                  Dawn

More Resources

Family Self-Sufficiency at Hawthorne Place Apartments: Progress Report 
POAH testimony:POAH President and CEO Aaron Gornstein testifies on FSS at Financial Services Committee hearing
Compass and Abt Associates study: Evaluation of the Compass Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Programs
POAH press release: POAH applauds Senate sponsors of Family Self-Sufficiency Act