HUD Disburses $128M to Empower Financial Stability and Savings

A new, sizeable disbursement of funds from the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to 835 agencies across the country under the 2023 Renewal and New Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) Program grants. 

The Project Based Rental Assistance (PBRA), valued at $128 million, goes towards public and Bureau of Indian Affairs housing falls under the Biden/Harris Administration’s to build assets and economic independence for vulnerable communities. 

HUD’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, Richard Monocchio, made the announcement in Chicago, highlighting HUD and the Biden-Harris Administration’s continued efforts to support families by providing financial resources to achieve economic independence. 

“Financial literacy, job training and educational opportunities are some of the resources the FSS program connects HUD-assisted families to so that they have the chance to find employment and build assets,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “HUD remains committed to working with our local partners to empower residents and promote economic justice for all Americans.” 

The FSS program is a voluntary initiative offered to families in HUD-assisted housing. Participants receive coaching, referrals to services, and establish a family escrow savings account. FSS Program Coordinators provide coaching and develop local strategies to connect participating families with public and private resources. These resources aim to increase their earned income and financial empowerment, reduce or eliminate the need for welfare assistance, and facilitate progress toward economic independence and self-sufficiency. 

“Regardless of how much money one might make, where they live, whether or not they receive assistance, every person in this country deserves to have the sense of security for their families that comes with consistent saving,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Richard Monocchio. “We are thrilled to offer the benefits of the FSS program to more participants than ever before.” 

According to the HUD, the FSS program is the nation’s largest asset-building program for low-income families, which was originally created in 2015, Congress authorized PBRA to run the FSS programs. The first time PBRA owners were allowed to apply for funding was in 2023; between last year’s awards and this year, an additional 91 programs were funded. 

The FSS program is the nation’s largest asset-building program for low-income families, funding over 1,450 coordinators next year, who will serve over 69,000 residents in public, voucher, and multifamily housing. In 2015, Congress authorized PBRA owners to run FSS programs. 2023 was the first year that PBRA owners were allowed to apply for funding. Between last year and this year, HUD has funded 91 new PBRA FSS programs. 

The challenge, based on race and economic status among other things, revolves around unequal access to savings, negative or credit invisible people, and low usage of traditional baking methods are national problems for these groups that especially impact renters and is a huge factor in the racial wealth gap. This leaves renters with a minimal safety net to draw from in times of unemployment or unanticipated expenses such as car repair or medical emergencies. The FSS program helps to keep the unexpected from becoming larger financial problems through savings and support. 

A list of new awards and renewal awards can be found here. 

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Kyle G. Horst

Kyle G. Horst

Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for MortgagePoint. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography including best newspaper design by the Associated Press Managing Editors Group and the international iPhone photographer of the year by the iPhone Photography Awards. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at kyle.horst@thefivestar.com.
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