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The Family Self-Sufficiency Program is the umbrella program for many of the services and programs offered by Eastern Carolina Human Services Agency, Inc. Instead of a piecemeal approach to addressing each family need as it becomes a crisis, and therefore creating a revolving door for social services, the Family Self-Sufficiency Program helps participants to become self-sufficient.

Program Requirements

The FSS family is a motivated participant who voluntarily commits by signing a Contract of Participation:

  • The goal of being self-sufficient should be accomplished within five (5) years.

  • All family members are to be off public assistance twelve consecutive months before the contract expires.

  • The family must meet all the assessment goals and follow-up on any referrals issued.

  • In addition, the Eastern Carolina Human Services Agency,Inc., Section 8 Housing Department will establish an interest-bearing FSS Escrow Account for the family.

  • A portion of the family's rent will be credited to the escrow account in accordance with HUD requirements.

  • The family will receive a report of the escrow balance once a year.

  • Funds will be released to the family in accordance with the contract terms.

In some instances, the family may complete the contract before the five-year expiration date. This can occur when you add an additional member to the household, the combined incomes exceeds 30% of the tenant total payment, and the family unit can pay the entire rent without any assistance from the Section 8 Housing Program.

ECHSA, Inc. encourages participants to complete their goals as soon as possible and obtain or maintain gainful employment.

Eastern Carolina Human Services Agency, Inc. - Section 8 Housing Program would like to see families start businesses, seek better employment, complete GED, start or continue their college education, complete a volunteer work training internship, start or complete a technical training course, or even purchase a home.

 Self-Sufficiency is defined as a process through which an individual reaches economic independence with decreased reliance on social service or income maintenance programs over a length of time. A self-sufficiency plan of action will be developed with the case manager and client upon acceptance into the program.


The goal of the Program is to reduce dependency upon Federal and State programs, and to obtain an increase in the total family income. By strengthening the emphasis on employment and promoting personal responsibility, families can and will move out of poverty.The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program is a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) mandated program that links housing subsidies to services aimed at helping families become economically self-supporting. HUD's intentions are that FSS Program graduates not only leave the subsidized housing; but also save money towards the purchase of a home, car, or to continue their education. In some cases, the family may still need housing assistance after the Contract of participation expires. As long as the family meets and maintains the final goal of steady employment, the participant can continue receiving housing assistance.

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