Since the 1990s, low-income families in Federal housing assistance programs have been offered the opportunity to participate in the Family Self-Sufficiency program, a housing service delivery model designed to help families so they can move out of Federally funded housing assistance programs. Some researchers describe this program as the “best kept secret” for reducing housing assistance dependency, yet little is known about the service delivery needs and preferences from the perspectives of low-income families. Using the family resource management framework in this qualitative research design, the purpose of this study was to better understand service delivery needs and preferences through individual interviews with families participating in the Family Self-Sufficiency program and key informants who deliver services. Additionally, this research examined linkages between economic self-sufficiency and housing stability. Homeownership was the goal for families and key informants described this as the American Dream for most participants in the program. As a result of having a Housing Choice Voucher, families in this study had stable housing, yet they faced financial stress despite being a participant in the Family Self-Sufficiency program. Despite program requirements participants believed the program offered resources to support their family goals. However, not understanding program components, waitlist criteria, the lack of engagement between participants and key informants contributed to low program utilization. Findings suggests that more research is needed on understanding the needs of families in housing assistance programs and their ability to access the Family Self-Sufficiency program.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation.May 2019. Major: Design, Housing and Apparel. Advisor: Marilyn Bruin. 1 computer file (PDF); x, 220 pages.
The Influence of the Family Self-Sufficiency Program: Perspectives and Preferences of Low-Income Families.
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