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Home Ownership/FSS Program


What exactly is the Family Self-Sufficiency Program?


The Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS) is a special opportunity offered to Public Housing residents and Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section8) participants by the Chattanooga Housing Authority. FSS Program clients work with CHA staff in obtaining both public and private resources that are needed to become free of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and other types of governmental assistance.


“It’s a hand up…not a handout.”


What’s in it for me?

M O N E Y!


You can earn as much as $10,000 – $20,000!


Normally when the amount of money you are able to earn in the workplace begins to increase, then the amount of rent you pay will increase if you receive public assistance. However, under the FSS Program, the dollar amount of the rent increase you would pay is placed in a special interest-bearing account called ESCROW. When you successfully complete the FSS Program, then you may use the money in that ESCROW account for anything that will assist you in remaining self-sufficient. Some examples of ESCROW usages include tuition for college, a new car or the down payment on a NEW HOME! Remember, within the guidelines of the FSS Program, being “self- sufficient” means you are free of welfare and other types of governmental assistance. With guidance from your FSS Counselor and other professional support, it’s a goal you CAN achieve!


What do I do now?


The FSS Coordinator will guide you in the development of specific goals that are designed to meet YOUR specific needs. These goals will then be developed into your FIVE-YEAR PLAN. Together with the FSS Coordinator, you will be connected with the community resources and other support you need to achieve self-sufficiency within this five-year timeframe.


Click below for a brochure concerning the FSS program







Making your dream of owning a home come true!


Just the Facts…


CHA’s Homeownership Voucher Option allows you to own your own home by assisting qualified clients with the monthly mortgage payments. Instead of using your voucher to help make monthly rent payments, the voucher is applied to a monthly mortgage payment for your family’s home.


Minimum Eligibility Requirements

  • You must be a current Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) participant in good standing with CHA.
  • You are currently employed full time, and have maintained stable and consistent employ- ment for at least 1 year. Or, you are an elderly or disabled person.
  • You must have a household income of at least $14,500 per year earned from employment. Or, you are an elderly or disabled person.
  • You do not currently own a home. You are a first- time homebuyer, or you have not owned a home in the last 3 years.
  • You have not lost your home because of foreclo- sure in the last 3 years, and have never defaulted un- der the Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Op- tion.
  • You are willing to complete pre-purchase counsel- ing and a homebuyer education class.
  • You are willing to attend post-purchase counseling and/or workshops.
  • You are currently enrolled in CHA’s Family Self- Sufficiency Program (FSS), or are willing to enroll.
  • You are willing to save enough money to put to- ward a 1% down payment on your new home.


There are 9 basic steps in the homeownership process, and CHA is here to walk you through each step.

  • Attend a one-on-one counseling session to develop your personal homeownership plan. CHA will work with you to prepare you for purchasing a home by reviewing your credit rating, work history and family’s financial situation.
  • Attend a homebuyer’s education course to determine if you are financially and emotionally ready to purchase a home, and to gain a better understanding of the home-buying process.
  • Develop your homeownership plan by attending additional counseling sessions/homebuyer education classes/workshops; establish and/or maintain good credit; follow other suggestions given by your homeownership counselor (s).
  • CHA will determine the maximum amount of voucher assistance you can use to purchase a home and the maximum mortgage for which you qualify. The Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) qualifies clients for a voucher based on family income and household size. The maximum amount of mortgage you would qualify for will be based on your income and the amount of debt you owe.
  • Apply for a mortgage loan with a mortgage lender and begin shopping for a home. (Remember that CHA will work with you to get you ready to apply for the loan and help you identify trustworthy professionals to assist you in this area.)
  • Have 2 inspections conducted on the home you wish to purchase: 1) a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspection performed by CHA; and 2) a private inspection performed by a qualified private inspector of your choice.
  • Once your loan application has been approved by the mortgage lenders and your home (inspection) has been approved by CHA, then a loan “closing” will be scheduled.
  • Attend a real-estate closing at the office of a local attorney or title company.
  • Congratulations! You are now a homeowner!

Click below for a brochure about the Home Ownership Program

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