Low-Income Families in New Hampshire Move from Public Assistance to Self Sufficiency

Monday, December 12, 2005

On October 12, New England Regional Director Taylor Caswell visited the home of Cheryl Ann Mahaffey to announce the Family Self Sufficiency grants in New Hampshire. Cheryl Ann, a single mother of a six year-old son, joined the New Hampshire Housing Authority's family self-sufficiency program in 2002 and was able to purchase her new home in April, 2004. Through the program, she was able to enroll in on-line learning classes and establish an individual development account.

[Photo: Taylor Caswell with Cheryl Ann Mahaffey]

HUD's Housing Choice Voucher Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program is used to help link adults who receive rental subsidy assistance to local organizations that provide job training, childcare, counseling, transportation and job placement. The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program is the federal government's major program to assist low-income families, the elderly and the disabled to afford decent, safe and sanitary housing in the private rental market. Families pay 30 percent of their income to the landlord and the housing voucher pays the difference between actual rent charged by the landlord. Participants in the Family Self Sufficiency program sign a five-year contract that stipulates the head of the household will get a job. As the family's income rises, a portion of the increased income is deposited into an interest-bearing account. If the family completes the contract, the family receives the funds that they can use for any purpose � including down payment on a home purchase, paying educational expenses, starting a business or paying back debts.

"The program helps move people from public assistance to self-sufficiency," said Taylor Caswell, HUD regional director. "Gaining employment or finding a better job is the first step in economic independence that leads to a world full of opportunities, including homeownership."

The funding announced was part of $334,980 awarded in the Granite State, and more than $45.5 million awarded nationwide through the FSS program. Receiving funding in New Hampshire were New Hampshire Housing Authority ($215,880), Manchester Housing Authority ($42,814), Nashua Housing Authority ($20,000), and Dover Housing Authority ($56,286).

Content Archived: September 09, 2009