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Friday, January 18 , 2019, 2:44 pm | Fair 63º


For Graduates, Housing Authority Program Opens the Door to Self-Sufficiency

One graduate achieves the highest savings and escrow amount in the history of the program.

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The Santa Barbara Housing Authority, with Assemblyman Pedro Nava, county Supervisor Salud Carbajal, and Cara Lane representing Rep. Lois Capps, earlier this month honored six graduates of the Family Self-Sufficiency program. (Office of Assemblyman Pedro Nava courtesy photo)

The Housing Authority of Santa Barbara’s Family Self-Sufficiency Program honored six graduates earlier this month in a ceremony hosted at Garden Court.

The program is an initiative designed to help move families receiving housing assistance and related government subsidies to a more independent lifestyle, free of governmental assistance. Ultimately, FSS aims to help participants achieve their personal goals and greater socio-economic advancement, including college degrees, professional careers and first-time homeownership.

“We are so proud of our graduates and all that they have achieved,” Housing Authority CEO and executive director Robert Pearson said. “Thanks to their hard work and our dedicated community sponsors that have assisted them, they will now be able to better their lives and the lives of their families, making a great impact on the well-being of our community as well.”

The Housing Authority announced that the graduates received more than $80,000 through the FSS savings and escrow program. The FSS savings and escrow program is a financial incentive to families based on the establishment of a savings account, which becomes available to the family upon completion of the five- to seven-year FSS program.

To date, more than 186 individuals have graduated from FSS and 34 are homeowners. From the time the families enroll in FSS to the time they graduate, families triple their income, saving government funding and recycling tax dollars.

The ceremony was particularly special because it includes the presentation to one graduate their $32,000 FSS savings and escrow account, the highest amount awarded in the history of the program.

Daniella Elghanayan is a publicist.

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