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Housing agencies from around the region celebrated more than 70 individuals who are on their paths to success.

For the first time, the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority, District of Columbia Housing Authority, Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority, and Rockville Housing Enterprises held a joint celebration and dinner for graduates of the Family Self-Sufficiency program. The national program, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, encourages participants to complete self-sufficiency milestones such as gaining improved employment, improving their financial literacy, or purchasing a home. Housing authority staff and community partner organizations team up to instruct clients on how to reach their goals.

“At commencements we feel relief. We feel joy. We feel happiness. But we are also focused on the future,” said Marvin Turner, HUD’s Mid-Atlantic Field Office director, who said self-sufficiency is a high priority for HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “You sacrificed. You learned. You leaned in. You did it for yourselves and your families.”

Participants in the program sign a five-year contract that requires the head of the household to obtain employment and to set a goal of having all household members will use  limited types of public assistance after five years. Families in the FSS program have an interest-bearing escrow account established for them. The amount credited to the family's escrow account is based on increases in the family's earned income during the term of the FSS contract. If the family successfully completes its FSS contract, the family receives the escrow funds and can use them for any purpose, including debt reduction to improve credit scores, paying for educational expenses, or as a down payment on a home.

“Thank you for being an inspiration, not only to your families, but to those who follow in your footsteps,” said Ronald Fisher, DCHA’s FSS program manager. “You did the work and you deserve the credit. Own it.”

Graduates heard from one of DCHA’s graduates, Kendra Pearson, who went through the program twice due to losses of employment.

“Thank you, DCHA. Without them I would not be standing before you as a homeowner,” she said. “It is truly a blessing. If your dream is homeownership, don’t let anything stand in your way.”

Other speakers also offered encouraging words and testimonies, including the keynote speaker, Asia Chandler from Majic 102.3 FM, before they were individually called up to get their certificates.

For more information on DCHA’s FSS program, please call (202) 435-3282.

 

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DCHA FSS graduates
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Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority FSS graduates
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Rockville Housing Enterprises FSS graduates
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Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority FSS graduates
Last modified: 12/12/2018 11:29:28 AM