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Nearing the Finish Line: 5-Year Findings From the Family Self-Sufficiency Evaluation


Authors: Freedman, Stephen     Verma, Nandita     Tessler, Betsy     Fink, Barbara     MDRC    

Report Acceptance Date: September 2021 (215 pages)

Posted Date: May 26, 2023

In 2012, HUD commissioned a national random assignment evaluation of the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program’s impacts on labor market and other quality of life outcomes for households receiving Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs). The FSS program has two key components: case managers who work with participant households to develop individualized self-sufficiency plans and to access other community services, and savings and asset development via interest-bearing escrow accounts based on increases in earnings. This report examines FSS program implementation, participants’ engagement in the program, and program impacts on labor force participation and government benefits receipt five years following random assignment. The research team’s findings are largely unchanged from the prior interim report. Among the key results, they conclude FSS increased participation in a range of employment-related services, particularly education and financial literacy; participants in the FSS program did not experience a sustained increase in employment rates or average earnings, and FSS participants experience steady shifts from part-time to full-time employment.

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