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Promoting Work and Self-Sufficiency for Housing Voucher Recipients: Early Findings From the Family Self-Sufficiency Program Evaluation


Authors: Verma, Nandita     Stephen, Freedman     Tessler, Betsy L.     Nuñez, Stephen     Fink, Barbara    

Report Acceptance Date: March 2019 (173 pages)

Posted Date: May 08, 2019

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: i) funding for Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) to support case managers who work with participant households to develop individualized self-sufficiency plans and access other community services, and ii) funding to support savings and asset development via interest-bearing escrow accounts redeemable upon graduation from the program, generally after 5 years of FSS program participation. This report examines FSS program implementation, participants’ engagement in the program, and program impacts on labor force participation and government benefits receipt in the first 24 months after program enrollment. The evaluation finds that while FSS increased participation in a range of employment-related services and support services by a statistically significant 13 percentage points, participants in the FSS program did not increase employment rates or average earnings in the first 2 years, but did experience small shifts from part-time to full-time employment.

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