Family Self Sufficiency (FSS)/Home Ownership

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FDHA is partnered with eHome America, an online homebuyer education and certification program that allows more people to get the information and certification they need at their own pace and from the convenience of their own home.

Available in English and Spanish, eHome America is a comprehensive training course with educational videos, interactive forums and downloadable materials designed to enhance understanding of the homebuying process.

Upon completion of this comprehensive, eight-hour course, the participant will speak with a counselor, one-on-one, before certificates are printed.

Click here to learn more. Call the office at (515)573-7751 to get information on the eHome America couse.


Realize the American Dream

Own Your Own Home! Eligible Section 8 Voucher holders may now use their vouchers to assist in the purchase of their own home through the Section 8 Homeownership Program. The voucher assistance provides a partial payment toward the mortgage every month. Participants are assisted with budgeting and credit repair as needed, provided with homeownership education, and given support every step of the way as they purchase their home. The Fort Dodge Housing Agency coordinates with lenders, realtors, other homeownership programs and other sources to provide additional opportunities for homeownership.

Eligibility requirements

  • Have a current Section 8 Voucher.
  • Be consistently employed for 30 hours or more per week for one year before homeownership assistance starts. (Elderly people and people with disabilities are exempt from this requirement.)
  • Must earn at least $14,500 per year; with exceptions as noted above.
  • Must be a first time homebuyer. (Not have owned a home in the past 3 years.)
  • Be willing to utilize the voucher to purchase a home in Webster, Wright, Hamilton, Humboldt, Calhoun or Pocahontas County.
  • Have credit good enough to qualify for a mortgage loan.
  • Successfully complete homebuyer education course.

The Homeownership Coordinator will refer you to a free credit specialist. Participants must complete the eHome America Online course prior to payments starting.
If owning a home is your dream for the future, call 515-573-7751 today to find out more.



Family Self-Sufficiency

Family PictureFamily Self-Sufficiency is a voluntary HUD program that encourages and assists families to become self-sufficient. Anyone currently on the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program or living in a Public Housing unit is eligible for FSS.

FSS offers a financial incentive to families through an escrow account, which is based on increase in earned income. This account becomes available to the family upon successful completion of their FSS Contract of Participation.


The Family Self-Sufficiency Coordinator assists each family to write a plan of individual goals and objectives. The Coordinator also works with public and private sources to assist families to find services and supports needed. An escrow account is established for each family in an interest bearing savings account, and the family receives a record of any deposits and interest yearly. The Coordinator monitors progess on individual goals and objectives and determines when the family has completed the contract.

A joint advisory committee meets quarterly to advise the FSS program on area resources, family needs, and to provide support for activities. The committee is comprised of representatives from the area agencies, resources and interested community members.


The head of the family must seek and maintain suitable employment, as defined in the family's individual self-sufficiency contract of participation. Employment will be based on skills, education, and job training of that individual and available job opportunities in the area. Families must work to complete activities within the time periods on their plan, and regularly provide the FSS program with information about their progress.

All family members must comply with the terms of the lease and Section 8 or Public Housing programs. If they are receiving welfare assistance, they must become independent of welfare assistance for at least 12 consecutive months before the contract expires.

Graduation from the Family Self-Sufficiency program occurs when the family has met all their goals and objectives, or when 30% of their adjusted monthly income is at or above the fair market rent for the size unit they qualify for. Any money in their escrow account is paid to the family upon graduation.