Building an Effective Infrastructure

Module 6.6: Minimum FSS Program Size

Minimum Program Size for Mandatory FSS Programs

Some public housing agencies are required to have mandatory FSS programs because they received funding for additional Housing Choice Vouchers/certificates and/or public housing units between 1991 and 1998.

Mandatory FSS programs have a minimum number of mandatory FSS slots they must operate. The minimum FSS program size is the number of families a PHA is required to enroll and graduate from the FSS program. Please note that these are minimums, rather than maximums. Given the great benefits of FSS, PHAs without required FSS programs are encouraged to start them and PHAs with small minimum program requirements are encouraged to exceed them.

Detailed guidance on minimum program size can be found in:

Calculating the Minimum Program Size for Mandatory Programs

HUD provides an equation that PHAs can use to determine the minimum size that is required for mandatory FSS programs.

Mandatory Minimum for Public Housing FSS Programs & Housing Choice Voucher FSS Programs

Each time a family successfully fulfills its FSS contract (on or after October 21, 1998) and graduates from the FSS program, the PHA’s mandatory minimum program size is decreased by one slot.

If a family leaves the program but does not complete its obligations under the contract of participation, the vacated slot must be filled by another eligible family.

Exceptions to the Minimum Program Size for Mandatory Programs

Under special circumstances, a PHA with mandatory FSS programs may request an exception from the requirement to establish and carry out an FSS program or a reduction in the required minimum program size.

In order to receive an exception or reduction, the PHA must demonstrate to its HUD field office that establishing an FSS program or achieving the minimum program size is not feasible because of local circumstances. Explanations may include lack of supportive services, lack of funding for reasonable administrative costs, lack of cooperation by local government, and lack of sufficient interest by residents to participate in the FSS program.

HUD grants exceptions in 3-year increments.

Option to Operate a Larger Program

PHAs can operate larger FSS programs than the mandatory minimum program size and are encouraged to do so.  PHAs must amend their FSS Action Plan to note the larger program size.

Minimum Program Size for FSS Coordinator Funding

PHAs that receive FSS coordinator grant funding are required to maintain a minimum caseload per funded FSS coordinator.

HUD’s annual Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs) for FSS program coordinator grants establishes minimum guidelines for the number of FSS participants that programs must serve to qualify for specific levels of coordinator funding.

The FY 2016 NOFA, for example, says: “Eligibility for funding will be based on the number of FSS program participants in your entire FSS program during the target period, according to a formula that requires 15 families to support one part-time position, 25 families to support one full-time position, and an additional 50 families to support each additional position beyond the first full-time position.”

HUD expects that the first full-time FSS coordinator is generally expected to serve at least 25 participants, while each subsequent full time coordinator should be able to serve at least 50 participants.

A part-time FSS program coordinator may also be employed to serve up to 15 participants.

Minimum Program Size for Multifamily FSS Programs

Multifamily owners that operate FSS programs are not required to maintain a minimum program size, nor are they eligible to apply for FSS coordinator funding.

However, HUD bases its approval of the owner’s use of residual receipts to fund FSS program coordinators on the proposed program size.

HUD expects that the first full-time FSS coordinator is generally expected to serve at least 25 participants, while each subsequent full time coordinator should be able to serve at least 50 participants.

If serving less than 25 participants, owners can employ one part-time FSS program coordinator. Additional part-time FSS program coordinators may also be employed at the same hours-participant ratio.

See Housing Notice 2016-08 for more detailed information on program size.

Please complete this quiz before you proceed to the next module. To take the quiz, use the arrow keys or click the correct answer choice. If you answer incorrectly, you will be able to try again until you select the correct response.
Scores will not be recorded.

1. What is the minimum program size for an initial full-time FSS program coordinator for PHAs funded under the FSS program coordinator grants and for Multifamily owners seeking to use residual receipts?

A - 50Incorrect.An FSS program needs to serve at least 25 participants in order to qualify for a full-time FSS coordinator under both the FSS program coordinator grants for PHA FSS programs and the Office of Housing’s policy for multifamily owners to access residual receipts.B - 25Correct!An FSS program needs to serve at least 25 participants in order to qualify for a full-time FSS coordinator under both the FSS program coordinator grants for PHA FSS programs and the Office of Housing’s policy for multifamily owners to access residual receipts.C - 15Incorrect.An FSS program needs to serve at least 25 participants in order to qualify for a full-time FSS coordinator under both the FSS program coordinator grants for PHA FSS programs and the Office of Housing’s policy for multifamily owners to access residual receipts.D - No minimumIncorrect.An FSS program needs to serve at least 25 participants in order to qualify for a full-time FSS coordinator under both the FSS program coordinator grants for PHA FSS programs and the Office of Housing’s policy for multifamily owners to access residual receipts.

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