This project highlights the results of our evaluations of the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) programs administered by Compass Working Capital (Compass) in Lynn and Cambridge, Massachusetts in partnership with public housing agencies in those cities, as well as our process study of the National FSS Network.
Interim Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Compass Family Self-Sufficiency Program
Participants in the Compass FSS program gained more than $10,000 in increased income over a five-year period as a result of participation in the program, at a net cost to the government of only $276 per participant. These are some of the key findings of a new cost-benefit study by Abt Associates. The $10,000 figure accounts for reductions to participants’ federal benefits, such as federal welfare benefits, as their earnings improved. These reductions--along with other cost savings--offset 97 percent of the cost of administering the programs.
Evaluation of the Compass Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Programs Administered in Partnership with Public Housing Agencies in Lynn and Cambridge, Massachusetts
This impact evaluation found participants in the Compass FSS programs earned more on average and received less in cash welfare payments than their matched peers. The evaluation also found that participants improved their credit scores and reduced their debt, exceeding benchmarks in both areas. Results show participants in the Compass FSS programs earned more on average and received less in cash welfare payments than their matched peers. The evaluation also found that participants improved their credit scores and reduced their debt, exceeding benchmarks in both areas.
Implications for Policy and Practice of New Research on an Asset-Building Model for FSS
This paper explores the implications of Abt’s Compass FSS evaluation for the broader debate about how to help residents of subsidized housing to increase their earnings and build assets and financial capability.
Unlocking the Potential of HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency Program to Expand Financial Coaching and Asset-Building Opportunities for Households with Low Incomes
This policy brief reviews options for expanding enrollment in HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program and increasing the emphasis within FSS on financial coaching and enhancing participants’ financial capability.