On July 27, the Department of Housing and Urban Development issued Notice PIH-2022-20, which clarifies portions of the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program final rule. The final rule was published in May of this year and went into effect on June 17, 2022. The sections that are clarified in the notice cover the establishment of an escrow account for FSS participating families, the use of forfeited FSS escrow funds, and reporting requirements of financial data as related to FSS escrows.
The notice provides the following information summarized below:
Establishing an FSS Escrow Account
- PHAs or owners are required to deposit FSS escrow funds of all families participating in an FSS program into a single interest-bearing depository account.
- The escrow account may be part of the PHA or owner’s overall account or a separate account.
- Funds deposited into either account must only be used for the purposes of escrow.
- The total of the account funds must be supported by accounting records that show the balance applicable to each FSS participating family.
Forfeited FSS Escrow Funds
- The final rule requires that all forfeited escrow funds be used by a PHA/owner to benefit any FSS participants in good standing with the program regardless of the original funding source.
- The funds may only be used for activities such as transportation, child care, training, fees associated with employment or professional development, training for FSS Coordinators, and any other activities as determined by HUD.
Reporting Financial Data
- PHAs that administer the Section 8 and/or Section 9 programs must submit annual financial data to HUD.
- Data must be submitted electronically and be prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
- The FSS program provides an accounting brief that provides clarity for this process. The brief can be found here.
For more information, see the notice here.