Family Self-Sufficiency Program

The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program provides for coordination of local, community-based resources that promote economic independence for families living in assisted housing. Let yourself envision a future where you are in control.

Would you like to own your own home?

Have you ever wanted to finish school?

Would you like to improve your income or even pay off debts?

Are you currently a MSHDA Housing Choice Voucher participant? 

You may choose to become a successful FSS Participant! As a FSS Participant:

  • Your Rental Assistance status will not change. You will continue to receive rental assistance like you currently do now.

  • Your portion of the rent will continue to be based on your income.

  • When your earned income increases, MSHDA will deposit funds into a FSS escrow account .

  • Whether you are currently employed, unemployed, or in school, you will receive assistance in establishing employment and/or education goals.

  • At the successful completion of the contract, the head of household receives escrow monies.

  • Escrow funds can be used towards a down payment for a home, educational expenses, or to pay off debt.

Who is eligible?

  • Be a current participant in MSHDA’s HCV Rental Assistance Program.

  • Enter into a contract where along with your FSS Resource Coordinator, step-by-step goals will be developed and monitored for your achievement.

FSS Program Obligations:

  • The head of the household must seek and maintain suitable employment.

  • The head of the household must complete activities (goals) defined in the individual training and services plan.

  • All family members must be independent of cash welfare assistance for the final twelve months of the FSS contract.

  • Participants must attend Financial Management/Economic Literacy counseling and will be pre-assessed for homeownership eligibility.

If you are eligible, give the MSHDA Family Self-Sufficiency Program a call for more information: 517-335-9957

Current FSS Participants

Are you currently an FSS participant with SMCAA? Find some important information and links below:

How can my FSS Coordinator help me?
  • Assessing Individual Needs

  • Coordinating Available Resources

  • Goal Setting & Monitoring

Schedule a meeting with your FSS Coordinator

How does my escrow account work? 

The family pays a portion of its housing costs relative to the family’s income and MSHDA subsidizes the balance. When the family’s income increases, the family pays more money monthly for rent.

Under the FSS program, as the tenant pays more for rent, MSHDA makes a monthly deposit into their account based on the amount their rent changes due to change in their earned income.

Example: Based on 30% of monthly-adjusted income.

Rent at begin date of initial FSS Contract:

Rent for unit is  $500

Family’s rent portion is  $100

MSHDA's portion to landlord is $400

Six months later family’s income increases:

Rent for unit is  $500

Family’s rent portion is  $200 

MSHDA’s portion to landlord is $300

FSS earned escrow monies per month would be $100. MSHDA originally paid $400 and now pays $300 (400 – 300 = 100).

Note: Increases in assistance payments, child support, etc. will affect the rent, but will not put money into the FSS account.

The Right Direction, the SMCAA's FSS Program Newsletter

Vol. 1: May 2021

Vol. 2: June 2021

Vol. 3: July 2021


I am currently working with a mortgage lender with a lot of knowledge about MSHDA loan assistance, and I was able to let him know that my credit score is in the 700's as of this month! The housing market is crazy right now and I have not found the home for me and my daughter, but I have time to find a house we will like.

Thank you for checking in with me, it is greatly appreciated. No one checks on me besides my family. I will keep you updated on my status!