Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Announces $149,762 in Federal Funding for the Family Self-Sufficiency Program

Funds will be used to help Hidalgo County families gain valuable job skills and earned financial independence

Washington | Charlotte Laracy, DC Press Secretary (202-226-1583); Alexis Torres, District Press Secretary (956-286-6007), January 7, 2020

Mission, TX – Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) announced $149,762 in federal funding for Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program in Hidalgo County and the City of Mission. These funds will allow local Housing Authorities to employ FSS Coordinators, who help families get back on their feet and regain independence by connecting them with services, such as child care, transportation, job training, employment and counseling.

“In order to break the cycle of poverty, we must give families the tools and services to do so,” said Congressman Cuellar. “This program will give people the ability to expand their education, obtain job training, and plan for their future in order to gain independence and financial security. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to fund programs that help hard-working Americans build a better life for their family and their community.”

HUD awarded nearly $80 million to 700 Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) across the country, 35 of those in Texas. The Housing Authority of the County of Hidalgo will receive $95,306 and the Mission Housing Authority of the City of Mission will receive $54,456. Resulting in a combined total of $149,762 for the area.

The FSS program, administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development,  enables HUD-assisted families to increase their earned income and reduce their dependency on welfare assistance and rental subsidies by connecting participating families with existing services and programs in the community, such as social service agencies, community colleges, businesses and other local partners. Families in the program sign a 5-year contract, which establishes an interest-bearing escrow account by the PHA. As families regain financial independence, they pay larger shares of their monthly rent. At the same time, the PHA deposits a portion of these increased rent payments into families’ interest-bearing escrow accounts to boost their savings. Once the FSS program is successfully completed, the family may access their escrow account as they continue to make progress toward achieving financial independence.