Operation Bootstrap Report
The Operation Bootstrap Program was the second in a series of three self-sufficiency initiatives undertaken by HUD over the last decade. The first, a mid-1980s demonstration program called Project Self-Sufficiency (PSS), was targeted specifically to low-income single parents and thought to be fairly successful in helping participants achieve economic self-sufficiency. Established five years later, the Operation Bootstrap Program borrowed the structure of its predecessor but aimed to provide opportunities to all low-income families, not just single-parent families.
HUD awarded just two rounds of funding through the Operation Bootstrap Program before the program was replaced by a third self-sufficiency initiative: the Family Self-Sufficiency Program. Authorized by the 1990 National Affordable Housing Act, the Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS) broadened its target client population to include public housing residents as well as Section 8 recipients. Beginning in FY 1993, participation in FSS became mandatory for all PHAs receiving either additional Section 8 assistance or new public housing units. Unlike the Operation Bootstrap Program, the FSS program is limited to individuals already receiving housing assistance, but does not require them to participate.
This second in a series of reports describes the movement of Operation Bootstrap Program participants toward self-sufficiency following program entry. It also describes who participated in the program and what education and employment-related activities they engaged in during the course of their participation. The analysis is not intended to measure the impacts of the program on participant outcomes, however, only the overall progress of those outcomes toward economic self-sufficiency.