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Consulting Report. Geneva Housing authority family self-sufficiency program. Amy Pinder Sarah Gummoe Cassandra Kounas Tatiana Polanco. What is the Family-Self Sufficiency Program?. Run by the Geneva Housing Authority Participation optional Service for low-income families

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Consulting Report

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consulting report

Consulting Report

Geneva Housing authority

family self-sufficiency program

Amy Pinder

Sarah Gummoe

Cassandra Kounas

Tatiana Polanco

what is the family self sufficiency program
What is the Family-Self Sufficiency Program?
  • Run by the Geneva Housing Authority
  • Participation optional
  • Service for low-income families
    • Subsidized Housing
    • Educational and Vocational Training
    • Escrow Account
    • Employment Incentives
  • Variety of housing options
    • Public Housing
    • Housing Choice Voucher
research problem
Research Problem

Why are participation rates low?

What can GHA do to recruit eligible families?

Family Self-Sufficiency Participation Rates

literature review
Literature Review
  • The Self-Sufficiency Project at 36 Months: Effects on Children of a Program that Increased Parental Employment and Income (Pamela Morris & Charles Michalopoulos)
  • Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (Sandra Newman & Joseph Harkness)
  • Family Self-Sufficiency Programs: An Evaluation of Program Benefits and Factors Affecting Participants’ Success (Jerry Anthony)
  • Does Urban Public Housing Diminish the Social

Capital and Labor Force Activity of Its Tenants?

(David Reingold, Gregg Van Ryzin, & Michelle Ronda)

our hypotheses
Our Hypotheses
  • Low participation rates can be contributed to lack of awareness on the part of eligible families.
    • Possible lack of understanding about program components and enrollment process
  • Public Outreach may be inefficient/limited.
  • Cultural and Language barriers may play a role.
research method
Research Method
  • In-Depth Interviews
    • Topics of Interest:
      • Demographics
      • Attitudes/Perceptions of FSS
    • Timeframe: 5 weeks
    • Goal: 40 interviews
      • 30 eligible non-participants
      • 10 current participants
    • Completed: 17 interviews
      • 42.5% response rate
sample interview questions
Sample Interview Questions

Current Participants

Eligible Non-Participants

  • 1) How did you find out about the FSS program?     a) Can you describe how you decided to join FSS?

b) How long have you been participating?

c) Do you know anyone who is in/has been enrolled in the program?

  • 3) The main component of the FSS program is an escrow savings account.

a) Do you currently have a personal savings account?

1) Do you add to your savings account regularly?

b) If not, are you interested in starting and building a savings account? (If not, why not?)

project deliverables
Project Deliverables
  • Analysis between participating and non-participating eligible families
  • Provide suggestions for program improvement
problems we encountered
Problems We Encountered
  • Response Rate
  • Sample Size
  • Qualitative Weaknesses
preliminary findings
Preliminary Findings

The majority of respondents were not aware of the FSS program

Respondents misunderstood program components

Section 8 enrollment process overwhelms eligible FSS adults

General lack of clarity about program and how to get information about it

preliminary recommendations
Preliminary Recommendations


More personal contact between families and GHA

Hire case managers (ideally multi-lingual)

Program graduates as mentors to new members

Individualized support in identifying and achieving goals


Financial counseling

Job counseling and training

Transportation services

Childcare services


Update website with user-friendly language and multi lingual options

Generate promotional materials that target a broader age spectrum