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LTRAP scores a perfect 10, the only one in NJ and among the top 6 in the nation, on its HUD Family Self Sufficiency Program (FSSP)

HUD just published the scoring of all FSSPs nationwide based on the new HUD grading system introduced in 2016. HUD published a FSS performance measurement spreadsheet showing how each Public Housing Agency (PHA) scored under the new performance measures. LTRAP achieved a perfect HUD score of 10; the only in NJ and one of only six nationwide.

There were 741 PHAs in the nation graded. The highest score is a 10. Only 6 agencies nationwide scored a 10. LTRAP was one of the 6. In other words LTRAP’s FSSP was graded in the top One Percent (1%) in the country, and the only one in NJ to attain this perfect score. LTRAP has the 2nd largest FSS Program in NJ. While Jersey City has a larger program they scored only a 5 in this performance measurement. The other agencies servicing Lakewood are the Lakewood Housing Authority which received a score of 7.5, and the NJ DCA which received a score of only 3.75. Clearly LTRAP’s FSSP is far superior to any others in the state and to nearly all in the country.

FSS is a program that enables HUD-assisted families to increase their earned income and reduce their dependency on welfare assistance and rental subsidies. HUD realizes that those benefitting from Section 8 rental assistance may have a disincentive to earn more. Any increased earnings will usually increase the family’s portion of the subsidized rent. To overcome this hurdle, HUD has devised a unique opportunity for rental assistance program participants – the Family Self Sufficiency Program (FSSP).

Once an eligible family is selected to participate in the program, the PHA, and the head of each participating family execute a FSS Contract of Participation that specifies the rights and responsibilities of both parties. The term of the FSS contract is generally 5 years, but it may be extended for another 2 years by the PHA for good cause.

The FSS contract also incorporates the family’s individual training and services plan (ITSP). The ITSP is the document that records the plan for the family. That is, the series of intermediate and long-term goals and the steps the family needs to take – and the services and resources they may need to access – to achieve those goals. Once a household is deemed eligible and chooses to participate in FSSP, an escrow account is opened for that family. As the household earnings increase causing the family portion of the rent to increase, an amount equal to the increased rent portion is deposited into this escrow account. At the conclusion of the contract the family receives the full balance in the account (tax-free). Some of LTRAP’s graduating FSSP families received as much as $40,000 tax free.

LTRAP’s FSS Program is not limited in size. Enrollment is open to any eligible LTRAP Program Participant. LTRAP currently has over 100 participating FSSP households, and the program is steadily growing. For more information call the office at 732-367-0660.

[Press Release]

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