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Housing, Welfare Reform, and Self-Sufficiency: An Assessment of the Family Self-Sufficiency Program
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Recently passed welfare reform legislation may have adverse impacts on the incomes of public and assisted housing residents and hence on the rental income of housing authorities. One way to dampen these impacts is to help welfare-reliant tenants find jobs. The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) programs sponsored by many housing authorities may be an important means of doing this. This article presents the findings of an early study of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s FSS program and explores the program’s potential for dampening the impacts of welfare reform. The study involved a mail survey of the coordinators of 564 FSS programs.

The survey results indicate a surprising lack of interest in the early FSS program among potential participants. The results also indicate that these programs are inadequately staffed, and that the programs’ potential to dampen the effects of welfare reform are limited by the relatively small percentage of welfare-reliant residents enrolled (Authors).
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