Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA) has been awarded $134,435 in funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to assist families who live in public housing or participate in the Housing Choice Voucher Program to become self-sufficient.
Family self-sufficiency is a quality-of-life issue. Here at RRHA we are committed to helping residents achieve self-sufficiency by providing the resources and the programs that they need to advance them in that quest. These HUD resources will enable our Family Self-Sufficiency Program to assist more residents in our public housing communities.RRHA CEO Steven Nesmith
The Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) Program is a HUD program administered by RRHA that is optional for families to participate. The FSS Program empowers families who either live in public housing or receive assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) by providing a vehicle to self-sufficiency. Participants enter a five-year contract, requiring the head of household to obtain employment and all family members to be free of cash welfare assistance (independent from cash welfare assistance prior to graduation). Families enrolled in this program are supported by their FSS Coordinator and partnering organizations within the community, at each level of their growth and development to financial independence. After enrolling, participants meet one-on-one with the program coordinator and get connected with the specific prerequisites needed for them to advance. This may include completion of an educational program, job skills training, financial management education, or other supportive services that are necessary for their progression. Additionally, as the family increases their wages, an interest-bearing escrow savings account is established for them that they receive when they graduate from the program.
Participants sit down with their FSS Coordinator and set goals for what they would like to achieve. The plan is their roadmap to success. RRHA connects participants to every available resource such as General Education Development (GED) services, youth and family services, workforce development, credit counseling, first time home buyers’ assistance, professional development and certification courses, to name a few. But ultimately, success is determined by their efforts.
Currently, RRHA has 96 families participating in the FSS Program. There are more on the interest list. As current participants graduate, new participants are able to join the program.