The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is enrolling low-income renters into its expanded Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program to promote household wealth, access to the banking industry, and improved credit scores.
The $113M expansion of FSS is a product of HUD’s current mission, as outlined in its planning document “Bridging the Wealth Gap: An Agenda for Economic Justice and Asset Building for Renter.” FSS serves around 65,000 participants at over 700 Public Housing Authorities (PHAs), working alongside community partners to coordinate services and establish escrow accounts for participants. HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge discussed HUD’s focus on the program in a press release:
‘With Bridging the Wealth Gap and this historic funding opportunity, we’re trying to make sure that every single person in this country can get their piece of the American dream,’ said Secretary Fudge. ‘We’re looking at everything through a lens of equity and how we address systemic racism. We’re giving people who have historically been left out and underserved the resources to take a chance on their futures – to improve their credit, save resources for homeownership and other needs, and build wealth. That’s what this is all about.’
Renters generally have difficulty navigating unanticipated financial hardship due to limited savings. According to HUD, in 2019, the median cash savings of renter households was $1,400 compared to homeowner cash savings of $10,100. Under FSS, in 2021, the average participating family had about $9,500 in savings.
Housing affordability will be in the limelight at the 2022 MACo Summer Conference. Housing officials from across the state will join together on a panel during the “Let’s Talk Housing: National Problem, Local Solutions” session to discuss many complicated issues facing the housing industry, including, but not limited to, labor and supply shortages, skyrocketing interest rates and inflation, the looming eviction crisis, inclusive housing concerns, and equity in transportation access.
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- Questions? Contact Virginia White