Twenty two (22) Participants began Escrow during 2012. (We’ve already had 5 for 2013.) Residents plan to use their funds in a variety of ways, but here in Brockton we let them take out portions ahead of the five-year FSS term, under certain conditions, of course.
Last year, three Participants used some of their funds to repair their vehicle, a huge plus when you consider that we all need to be able to get to work every day. Another popular use for a partial withdrawal is money to pay for classes, books, or tutoring for a breadwinner who is enrolled post-secondary.
We’ve even paid for things like real estate exams, or nursing certificate exams.
We are asked a lot of questions about these accounts. Often, people think they “qualify” for them, almost as if they were some sort of grant. The real story is much more empowering, however.
Escrow begins, and grows, according to a resident’s initiative. It only happens when a resident reports more earned income. You get a job, you pay more rent. That’s the rule of public housing and the rule of HUD’s HCV program. If you are not on FSS, that rent increase goes to the agency.
But if you are on FSS, some of those rent increases (if they are due to earned income) go into a savings account. Yes. They do, really. Ask Norma!