HUD Work Incentives

The Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program has some powerful work incentive programs. The Earned Income Disregard (or Disallowance) program and the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program are two programs that HUD participants returning to work need to be informed about. A general overview of each program is listed here, with links for more information.

Earned Income Disregard Information

Earned Income Disregard (also known as Earned Income Disallowance) The earned income disregard (EID) enables

people with certain HUD rental subsidies to go to work without having the person’s rent increase immediately. HUD phases in the rent increase over time.

Who is eligible?

  • Adults with and without disabilities in public housing
  • Adults with disabilities who receive assistance from the:
    • Housing Choice Voucher program
    • HOME Investment Partnerships program
    • Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS
    • (HOPWA) program
    • Project-Based Section 8 Voucher (but not all)

When Does the EID Apply?

  • Newly employed and the family’s income increases as a result
  • Has an increase in earnings during participation in a self-sufficiency or other job training program (i.e.; IPS program)
  • Newly employed or increase his/her earnings during or within 6 months after receiving TANF-funded assistance

How Does it Work?

  • During 1st 12 months, the increase in income is fully excluded. (The 12 months are not necessarily consecutive if the worker doesn’t work every month.)
  • During the 2nd 12 months, 50% of the increase is excluded.
  • The 24 months of EID must be used within 24 consecutive months. If not all 24 months are used within the 24-month period, the EID is still exhausted.
  • After the EID has been used up, the exclusion ends –the family rent is based on family income, including all of the earnings.
For more information on this program please contact the local housing authority office near you.


The HUD Family Self Sufficiency Program (FSS)

The FSS Program (FSS) is a program that enables HUD-assisted families to increase their earned income and reduce their dependency on welfare assistance and rental subsidies. Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) work in collaboration with a Program Coordinating Committee (PCC) to secure commitments of public and private resources for the operation of the FSS program, to develop the PHA’s FSS Action Plan (the FSS policy framework), and to implement the program. Once an eligible family is selected to participate in the program, the PH and the head of each participating family execute a FSS Contract of Participation that specifies the rights and responsibilities of both parties. The term of the FSS contract is generally 5 years, but it may be extended for another 2 years by the PHA for good cause. The FSS contract also incorporates the family’s individual training and services plan (ITSP). The ITSP is the document that records the plan for the family. That is, the series of intermediate and long-term goals and the steps the family needs to take– and the services and resources they may need to access– to achieve those goals. Some of the services coordinated through the program include child care, transportation, education, job training, employment counseling, financial literacy, and homeownership counseling, among others. Services are generally not provided by the PHA, but rather outsourced to service providers in the community. An interest-bearing escrow account is established by the PHA for each participating family. Any increases in the family’s rent as a result of increased earned income during the family’s participation in the program result in a credit to the family’s escrow account. Once a family graduates from the program, they may access the escrow and use it for any purpose.
Please click on the link below for a detailed fact sheet for the program.
Video overview of the program as administered in the Boston area. For more information on this program please contact the local housing authority office near you.