“By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands — your own.”–Mark Victor Hansente

Through the Family Strengthening Program, the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara is dedicated to empowering families in their efforts to overcome barriers and achieve self-sufficiency and economic independence through training, education, and supportive service resources.

The Family Self-Sufficiency Program

The Family Self Sufficiency Program (FSS) is a voluntary five (5) year program in which an Individual Training and Services Plan is developed with each participant to design a clear path of specific goals and objectives in order to achieve living wage employment and gain economic self-sufficiency. Participating families are required to sign a Contract of Participation with HACSB that outlines the services to be provided and the obligations required during participation. Throughout the five year contract, the FSS case manager monitors a participant’s progress and assists the participant by providing referrals and services so they may successfully complete each level on their journey to self-sufficiency.

The HUD-funded Family Self-Sufficiency Program was established in 1990 to promote employment and increased assets for low-income families receiving federal rent subsidies or public housing.

The Housing Authority works in collaboration with the Program Coordinating Committee (PCC) to secure commitments of public and private resources for the operation of the FSS program, to develop the FSS Action Plan, and to implement the program.  Currently, the Housing Authority is honored to have the following community members on its PCC:

Ilda Pulido, Santa Barbara City College Continuing Education
Elizabeth Adams, SBCEO TYS
Adrienne Arguijo-Morgan, College for Working Adults, SBCC
Chelsea Lancaster, SPARC, SBCC
Chelsea Duffy, SBCEO, Partners in Education
Laurel Sykes, American Riviera Bank
Irene Kelly, Financial Education Program Manager, WEV
Randy Weiss, Union Bank
Macario Ruano, World Financial Group
Rebecca Spadoro, Department of Rehabilitation
Evelina Ochoa, WEV
Bea Molina, Workforce Resource Center
Patricia Miller, Spherion
Natalia Alarcon, CommUnify
Ana Maya, IVYP
Alison Espinola, Family Service Agency
Kemba Lawrence, CommUnify
Elisa Pardo, CommUnify (Alternate)
Isis Castaneda, Creating Connections
Kenya Rodriguez, Girls Inc.
Lucille Boss, Santa Barbara County
Idalia Gomez, STESA Program Director
Cristina Cardoso, Transition House

What services are provided through the FSS program?

FSS program services may include, but are not limited to:

  • Individual Case Management
  • Education and Training
  • Career Planning and Development
  • Resume writing
  • Interviewing Skills
  • Job search and referrals
  • Financial Planning and Budgeting
  • Escrow Savings Account
  • Preparations for Homeownership

FSS Savings Account

Participants may qualify for the FSS Savings Account.

  • A percentage of rent increases resulting from increases in earned income may be deposited into an interest-earning savings account (certain limits and restrictions apply).
  • Upon successful completion of the FSS Program, the family qualifies to receive any savings earned.

“The experiences I’ve had have been many, but mostly this program has opened the door for me to become a successful small businesswoman.”

“The Housing Authority helped me by making my dream of becoming a nurse come true. I am able to give back to the community and provide excellent care.”

Who can participate?

A Section 8 or RAD/Public Housing participant (head of household and adult family members) motivated to improve their life circumstances.

How do I enroll?

For a consultation, contact Primitiva Hernandez at (805) 897-1083 or phernandez@hacsb.org.

Family Self-Sufficiency Bulletin

The quarterly Family Self-Sufficiency Bulletin is designed to provide money-saving tips and recommend programs geared toward meeting the economic and personal needs of the participants. Click below for the latest edition:

English: Family Self-Sufficiency Bulletin Spring 2022

Spanish: Boletin de FSS de Primavera 2022