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Berkeley Housing Authority
Berkeley Housing Authority

Family Self Sufficiency Program


Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) is a voluntary program designed for Section 8 and public housing residents to achieve economic independence and self-sufficiency through education, job training, supportive services and employment. With the support of local programs and agencies, FSS combines case management and life skills training with the FSS participant’s individual plan for education, training and employment. 

FSS Vision Statement 

The Family Self-Sufficiency Program will offer guidance in a trusting environment for families to dare to challenge themselves and be stimulated through education and learning to achieve independence and joy.


Family Self- Sufficiency Guiding Principles

We believe:

  • ALL people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect

  • Families have a right to a safe and secure environment.

  • Education and learning are the key to independence and success.

  • In taking the initiative to find answers with the people we serve.

  • In celebrating our diversity and differences.

  • In the importance of holistic health to achieve physical, mental, and spiritual well being.

  • That each individual, family and employee should conduct themselves with integrity and honesty.

  • In promoting a positive atmosphere that fosters creativity, encouraging individuals to discover their own ways to overcome barriers.

The Contract of Participation

When you complete your application and are accepted into the FSS program, you will be required to sign a contract of participation. This contract is an agreement between the Housing Authority of Alameda County and you that lasts for five years. The contract sets forth the provisions of the program and the obligations of your family. It is long and written in legal language. It can be simplified as follows:

The contract specifies the head of the family who will be responsible to sign the contract. Further, it states the purpose and effective date of the contract, the date when the contract will end, your annual gross income, your annual earned income and your Total Tenant Payment on the effective date of the contract.

Terms of the contract are stated. The Self-Sufficiency Action Plan for the head of the family and any other participating members must be completed within a five-year period.

The Contract of Participation lists the services to be provided to the participants to aid in achieving their goals. While some of the goals initially identified may be changed during participation in the program, ultimately the designated family head must seek and maintain employment during the terms of the contract.

The contract states what may happen if the terms of the contract of Participation are violated. These consequences can include termination of services under the FSS program.

Join the FSS Program

If you are a current participant in the Berkeley Housing Authority’s Section 8 or Public Housing Programs, and are motivated to set and achieve your self-sufficiency goals, you may be eligible to join the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program. The Waitlist for the Family Self Sufficiency Program is closed at this time.


Parental Stress

  • Website

  • Provides services including crisis line, parent education classes, and individual and group counseling.
    Stressed Parent & Caregivers (24-Hours) 800-829-3777
    Foster Parent Advice Line (24 Hours) 800-380-3725
    Crisis Line (888) 829-3777

How Can I Check My Credit Rating?

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Berkeley Housing Authority, 1936 University Avenue, Suite 150, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: Phone: (510) 981-5470
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903