Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) and Homeownership Options

What is the Family Self-Sufficiency Program?

In the THDA Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) program, we work with families and interested parties to create step-by-step plans that lead to economic independence. The purpose of the FSS program is to facilitate access to the supportive services that families need to become free of public assistance in a five-year time period. All participating Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) families have the opportunity to participate in the FSS program if they desire. The FSS program is voluntary for THDA’s Housing Choice Voucher families.

What are the benefits of participating in FSS?

In addition to gaining access to valuable supportive services, THDA establishes a savings (or escrow) account for FSS families when their earned income increases from obtaining a job or receiving a job-related promotion or raise. When a HCV participant's income increases, their family contribution toward rent also increases. This money is placed in a "savings" account for the family.

When the family completes their contract of participation and/or becomes free of public assistance, they are eligible to receive the balance of their account.

Homeownership Voucher Program

THDA’s Homeownership Voucher Program offers a mortgage subsidy to low income households that currently receive a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Rental Assistance. The subsidy factors are the same as the rental program with expenses being an additional consideration for homeownership. THDA’s assistance allows low income families to purchase a home they would otherwise not be able to. The mortgage assistance payment is paid directly to the lender or loan servicing company. The families must complete both, pre-purchase and post-purchase counseling.

THDA will review the loan terms, housing quality standards, independent home inspection report, appraisal, and contract of sale. The seller must be willing to pay for and complete all of the repairs.

All households must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • THDA Voucher must be current and in good standing.
  • All household members must not owe a debt to any housing authority.
  • Must be first-time homebuyers (or have not owned a home in the last three years).
  • Bankruptcies must be discharged for at least one year for Chapter 13 and three years for Chapter 7.
  • Must have saved $1,000 or 1% of the purchase price, whichever is greater, toward the home purchase.
  • Savings cannot be a gift or a loan. The applicant(s) must have saved the money over a period of time and apply it as a down payment or toward closing costs associated with the home purchase.
  • Credit score must be at least 640, if one exists.
  • Must complete HUD approved pre-purchase counseling.

Additionally, households must meet the income requirements:

Elderly/Disable Families
All Other Families
Minimum SS income is $8,088 Minimum annual income of $15,000
Minimum age requirement for "elderly" is 63 years
Employed at least 12 months (averaging 30 hours per week)

Application Process

The pre-application to the FSS/Homeownership programs is available by clicking here. Potential participants must submit a pre-application for screening, and the FSS Specialist will determine the family’s eligibility.

To access a free copy of your credit report visit

For more information on the FSS or Homeownership Program, contact:
Main: 615-815-2200
Fax: 615-564-2298
Administrative Support: Marva Hemphill 615-815-2174
West TN: Courtney Carney
Middle & South Central TN: Donessa Rhodes
East TN: Shannon Ferrell