Through public housing our clients are able to have access to NJ Food Bank, Congregate Housing Meal and Housekeeping Services and Medical Programs. Other resources are available on an as need basis.
Under the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program there are key areas that provide programming to enhance the quality of living for our OHA participants.
Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS)
FSS is a voluntary five-year savings incentive program offering a variety of tools and ongoing support to help Section 8 families build economic independence. The FSS grant is provided by, and administered under the supervision of the United States Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD).
Heads of household, 18 years or older, willing to enter into a five-year contract, who have:
- Twelve months in the Housing Choice Voucher Program
- A signed lease and contract
- The desire to work toward self-sufficiency and homeownership
- To provide families with services to obtain employment, including counseling, guidance and case management (child care, job training, education and other public or private services)
- To offer incentives that may lead to homeownership, including an accrued escrow savings account, funded and payable to each family when self-sufficiency is achieved. Participants may apply for withdrawals to use for homeownership, post-secondary education and business start-ups.
Although there are hundreds of qualified families living in Orange, FSS can accommodate no more than 50 families at this time.
If the program is full, eligible families with completed and approved applications will be placed on a waiting list.
Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Support
Qualified FSS participants and Section 8 HCV tenants on a case-by-case basis may work toward purchasing a home and applying rental assistance vouchers to monthly homeownership-associated expenses, including PITI (principal, interest, taxes and insurance), mortgage insurance, and homeowner’s association fees.
First time homebuyers* with a qualifying family member employed full-time for one year and income not less than the federal minimum hourly wage x 2000 hours** with:
- A record in good standing with OHA
- Funds for down payment (1% from family resources)
- An acceptable credit history
- At least one year residing in Orange
*Except disabled applicants who may have owned previously, and single parents who owned with an ex-spouse
**Disabled income not less than monthly SSI payment for individual x 12
- To help families, often ineligible through existing mortgage qualifying procedures meet the criteria for homeownership
- To offer opportunities to acquire wealth through home equity
- To provide household stability in safe and decent living environments
Those eligible will participate in credit counseling and pre-ownership planning along with an overview of homeowner responsibilities.
Participants will receive guidance to qualify for financing compliant with OHA requirements. When an approved single-unit dwelling in the OHA service area is located, there will be help negotiating price and terms of sale, including inspections and repairs.
The contract will be reviewed and approved by OHA as well as a licensed attorney in the state of New Jersey. OHA will determine the monthly assistance payment the family will receive. In addition, OHA will connect participants with support services to maintain financial stability after the purchase of their home.