Opportunities for Asset Building in Subsidized Housing

Opportunities for Asset Building in Subsidized Housing
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A report from Compass Working Capital, a nonprofit financial services provider, offers ideas for increasing asset building opportunities for families in subsidized housing. The report is based on a roundtable the organization hosted in 2015. Roundtable participants were diverse in their expertise, as the group included advocates, researchers, housing and finance practitioners, as well as policymakers. The report focuses on three opportunities: strengthening and expanding the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program, better integrating asset building opportunities with housing subsidy programs, and fostering partnerships between subsidized housing and asset building providers.

Policy Recommendations:

  • Expand participation in the FSS program to include eligible households and project-based Section 8 development owners.
  • Develop and evaluate innovative asset building program approaches to improve participation such as developing escrow accounts for clients.
  • Identify and share lessons learned from auspicious FSS program practices like the Cambridge Housing Authority pilot program.
  • Utilize policy and philanthropic organizations to raise visibility of FSS and funders to convene stakeholders.