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Family Self-Sufficiency Evaluation


Authors: Verma, Nandita     Freedman, Stephen     Tessler, Betsy L.     Fink, Barbara     Navarro, David     MDRC    

Report Acceptance Date: July 2021 (263 pages)

Posted Date: July 06, 2021

In 2012, HUD commissioned a national random assignment evaluation of the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program and its 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 access community services, and savings and asset development via an interest-bearing escrow accounts based on increases in earnings.

This report examines FSS program implementation, participants’ engagement, and program impacts on labor force participation and government benefits receipt. Three years after random assignment into the FSS treatment or the control group, the research team conclude that: (i) FSS increased participation in a range of employment-related services, especially education and financial literacy; (ii) participants in the FSS program did not experience a sustained increase in employment rates or average earnings; and, (iii) FSS participants experience steady shifts from part-time to full-time employment.

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