Worcester Housing Authority

A Better Life (ABL) Self-Sufficiency Program

We work hard to make our public housing communities safe and attractive for our families; but, maybe you want to live in a larger apartment, a better neighborhood or even own your own home.  Perhaps you desire to further your education, get a better paying job and see your children succeed.  To help support families in achieving such goals, the WHA created a new and entirely unique self-sufficiency program called “A Better Life:  Helping Families Find Their Way” (ABL).

ABL is a voluntary program intended to both support and challenge participating households.  Upon enrolling in the program, participants are assigned a case manager, or Family Life Coach (FLC).  The FLCs work closely with participants to provide them with support in five areas:  education, employment, finances, health and personal. 

How exactly does ABL work?

  • Assessment:  Once enrolled in the program, our staff will work closely with you and other members of your family/household to complete extensive assessments to see what we need to do to help you move forward. 
  • Service Plan:  With your assessment pointing the way, your FLC will work with you to create a service plan that lays out the short-, medium- and long-term goals and objectives necessary for achieving self-sufficiency. 
  • Help Along the Way:  With each step in your plan, your FLC will be there with you to provide guidance and meaningful assistance to ensure your success.
  • Partner Network:  Our community partners also work closely with participants and provide all household members with the assistance and services required for success.  Their services include free training and workshops designed specifically for ABL participants. 
  • Financial Focus:  Emphasis is placed on helping participants reach economic stability through credit repair, budgeting and savings.  For participants residing in a federal site, this could mean saving money that would normally go to a rent increase.  As your income increases, the monetary difference between the original rent and what the new rent should be is deposited into an escrow account, which you can access upon completing the program.  

Participation lasts up to five years, during which time participants reach economic independence and self-sufficiency through hard work and consistent support.  For interested participants, this could mean renting or owning your own apartment or home in the private housing market.


If you are a motivated, hard-working WHA resident living in a family development and looking to improve your own life and that of your children, we encourage you to apply.  For more information, visit our A Better Life Office located at 34 Great Brook Valley Avenue, Suite 6 or call us at 508-635-3265.

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