HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) recently announced the publication of midpoint findings from the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program evaluation. In 2012, HUD PD&R commissioned the first nationwide study of the FSS program that incorporates a randomized controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of the program for increasing earnings, sustaining long-term employment, and reducing families’ needs for public assistance because they have grown income and savings. The report, Work, Engagement, and Well-Being at the Midpoint: Findings From the Family Self-Sufficiency Evaluation, found 3 years after the random assignment of participants, evidence continues to build about the program’s effectiveness in helping participants access education, training and services that may improve their economic well-being.
The interim assessment of the FSS program found:
- Participants may pursue different pathways toward economic self-sufficiency, but program effects on employment and earnings are yet to emerge midway through the program.
- Impacts on some financial security outcomes may occur without increases in earnings or in household income. Researchers have observed increased attendance at financial security workshops and counseling but have not observed major savings increases or debt reduction among study participants.
- Escrow credits appear to have plateaued, but study participants who have accumulated escrow have sizeable balances of nearly $3,700 compared to $1400 among all FSS participants.
- The FSS evaluation is slated to end in 2021, providing 6 to 7 years of follow up for the study sample. The final report is expected in 2022.
Click here to read the full report.