Rebecca Stancil, International Relations Chair for the International Association of Workforce Professionals (IAWP), arranged for Taiwan’s Minister of Labor, Hsu Ming-chun and Labor Attaché, Jason Huang and other officials to meet with the Montana Housing Authority (MHA) during a U.S. Labor Department Tour.
Ms. Stancil said, “This is an amazing opportunity to share with the international community how MHA has created affordable housing options for our Missoula community and to show how these efforts have enabled our residents to gain stability and focus on improving their lives by gaining access to employment and other services.”
Missoula, Montana is one stop on a tour with the U.S. Labor Secretary, and provides an unprecedented opportunity for MHA to showcase its many housing projects, innovative employment and asset building programs, and community collaboration efforts. Labor officials, including the Taiwan delegation, are interested in housing programs, including MHA’s Family Self Sufficiency Program (FSS) and Resident Opportunity Self-Sufficiency Program (ROSS), as well as MHA’s collaboration with partners to create housing opportunities.
The Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) Program is an employment and asset building program that assists families receiving rental assistance from MHA to become more self-sufficient and even move off of federal assistance. FSS coordinators assist the program participants in creating a training plan that focuses on gaining employment or higher-paying employment, completing education or specialized training, repairing credit, addressing legal issues, and homeownership counseling. A savings account is created for the participant when their rent increases due to earned income to promote saving for the future.
The Resident Opportunity Self-Sufficiency Program (ROSS) is a federally funded program through HUD (The Department of Housing and Urban Development) and administered through MHA. This program supports Public Housing residents by connecting them with valuable community resources so they can obtain economic self-sufficiency, independence, improved quality of life, and in some cases, maintain stable housing as they age.