Family Self-Sufficiency Program launched in City of Oswego

OSWEGO — Mayor Billy Barlow announced that the City of Oswego has been awarded a $54,000 grant to host another round of the Family Self Sufficiency Program to be administered by the City of Oswego Rental Assistance Office.

The secured funding will allow the Oswego Rental Assistance Office to enroll 50 Oswego families in the FSS program to assist with creating and achieving specific objectives and goals and ultimately positioning the family to be self-sufficient, increasing their income and reducing their dependency on welfare assistance and rental subsidies.

The FSS program partners the City of Oswego Rental Assistance Program with Section 8 enrolled families by entering the two parties into a five-year contract. The RAP develops an individual training service plan, advising the family on finances and assisting with education, transportation, job training, employment counseling, home ownership and other services. As each family’s earning power and wages grow, the family’s share of rent increases. The families rent responsibility will increase, however the Rental Assistance Program credits the family’s increased portion of rent to their escrow account every month and, upon graduation of the program, the family may access and use the escrow for any purpose. To graduate, a family must seek and obtain full time employment and/or be welfare free for 12 months

“The City of Oswego’s Rental Assistance Program continues to reinforce a “hand up” approach while assisting families and individuals, versus the all too common “hand out” approach, when it comes to social services,” said Mayor Barlow. “Our Family Self Sufficiency Program provides real help to Oswego families, putting them on track to true self-sufficiency by assisting with employment opportunities, budgeting, homeownership and other skills that can help a family achieve long term success, without continued dependence on social services from the government. Going forward, we’ll continue using the City of Oswego Rental Assistance Office to help folks who need it most and build off the progress we’ve made since overhauling our HUD program, resetting our housing priority ranking system and opening the Inspire Center in 2019,” Barlow said.

Jen Gallagher, director of the City of Oswego Rental Assistance Program, said, “We are excited for the opportunity to increase our number of FSS participants. The FSS program is rewarding to both the City of Oswego RAP staff and the Section 8 clients that we serve. We are eager to fill the additional openings this grant has awarded us. Mayor Barlow’s continued leadership and support allows us to move forward with providing families the tools necessary to achieve self-sufficiency.”

The City of Oswego Section 8 Rental Assistance Program is located at 159 Liberty St. More information can be found on both the RAP office and FFS Program using the City of Oswego Section 8 Rental Assistance Office webpage at https://www.oswegohousing.org.

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