Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS)

Public Housing / Housing Choice Voucher FSS

108 S. Cedar St
Truth or Consequences, NM 87901
Phone: (575) 894-2244 Ext. 132
Fax: (575) 894-0756
Email: fss@torchousing.org

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Eligible?

Any Public Housing resident or HCV program participant who wishes to be free of all welfare programs may enroll.

How does FSS work?

Each head of household voluntarily enrolls in the FSS program by signing a Contract of Participation. The contract outlines the responsibilities of the participant and FSS to meet stated employment goals. Participants are assigned a case worker who helps them define and choose suitable career goals through counseling and professional referrals.

The case worker and participant work as a team to identify and eliminate obstacles to self-sufficiency.

What About Support Services?

The participant and case worker develop economic independence strategies with local agencies. Working with local service providers, FSS case workers use a combination of education, job training, counseling, and other support services to help each participant find full-time employment.

Other support includes:

  • Child care
  • Education
  • Money management
  • Job Search skills
  • Placement assistance
  • Home ownership counseling

What is the FSS Escrow Savings Account?

Once the household has successfully completed its five-year contract, the escrow account is theirs to use as they wish.

As a household’s rent increases due to an increase in earned income, a portion of the rent increase is deposited into the escrow savings account. The household continues to pay the rent required by the increase in income. The escrow account and the interest are not required to be reported to the Department of Health and Human Services, since it is not the household’s property until contract completion. In addition, the Internal Revenue Service has ruled that FSS escrow payments are nontaxable.

What are my Responsibilities?

Participating FSS households must complete and sign a Contract of Participation. Each participant has five years to reach self-sufficiency. Individual Service and Training Action Plans are included as part of the contract and must be fulfilled to qualify for contract completion and to access the escrow savings account.

Participants are also responsible for maintaining contact with their assigned case worker, and attending workshops and classes, as well as following through on other commitments established in the contract. The program offers households the flexibility to adjust for emergencies and unusual situations.