Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



The final report on Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership's (MBHP) Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program evaluation aims to improve our collective understanding of how the FSS program works, who benefits from the program and how they benefit, and the circumstances that are associated with success. The research findings are divided into five sections:

  • A comparison of MBHP’s FSS program outcomes to the national average
  • A description of how FSS graduates spend their escrow savings
  • A comparison of FSS graduates with those who terminate from the program
  • Mini-case examples on MBHP partnerships
  • An assessment of goals and outcomes for MBHP under the TBF grant

The Center for Social Policy used a developmental evaluation framework to design our research on the Family Self-Sufficiency program at the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership. We investigated a series of questions developed in collaboration with key decision makers at MBHP and we tracked their progress towards the goals they set under the grant from the Boston Foundation. CSP worked together with MBHP to develop the research questions, establish priorities for data collection, synthesize the research findings and develop policy recommendations. This work has resulted in three reports, an evaluation brief, an interim report, and now a final report.


This study was funded by the Boston Foundation from July 1, 2010 to November 30, 2015. The Center for Social Policy (CSP) is deeply grateful for the collaboration with the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership (MBHP) in conducting this research. Working collaboratively, we convened an Evaluation Advisors group that consisted of Chris Norris (MBHP Executive Director), Terry Lane (MBHP Board Member), Langley Keyes (MBHP Board Member), Josh Fluke (Assistant Director of Leased Housing), David Kelley (FSS Program Manager), and Jessica Powell (former FSS Program Manager). This evaluation benefited greatly from the input and feedback provided by the evaluation advisors. Other MBHP and FSS staff contributed to the design of the study and the data collection processes as well. We also thank the Family Self-Sufficiency program participants and graduates who gave their time for both interviews and focused feedback sessions on the research. Lastly, we thank the Center for Social Policy’s Constituent Advisor’s Board and UMass Boston’s Emerging Leaders Program for contributing to the policy analysis presented in this report.

Community Engaged/Serving

Part of the UMass Boston Community-Engaged Teaching, Research, and Service Series.



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