--- Issued December 13, 2017

The latest graduate from the HACE Public Housing Family Self-Sufficiency Program is Mary Boyajian.


Caseworker Sabrina Tolbert, left, honors Boyajian at her graduation ceremony.

She graduated November 29, 2017, and has already purchased a home in the City of Erie.  She received $4,399 in FSS escrow money to assist in purchasing her house. 

The  Family Self-Sufficiency program, that helped Boyajian achieve financial independence, works this way: participating families agree to work toward becoming economically self-sufficient. This means reducing and eventually ending their need for public housing.

When a family enters the program, the Housing Authority establishes a family escrow/savings account based on the rental subsidy they receive in public housing. As the participant moves toward self-sufficiency (higher wages, education, etc.) the family’s share of their rent increases.

HACE matches these increases with contributions to an interest-bearing escrow account for the benefit of the participant. When the family is self-sufficient, no longer receiving welfare, housing or other subsidies, the money in the escrowed savings account officially becomes theirs.