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How to maintain a successful FSS program: Tip #5

Patti Zatarian-Menard on the FSS programTip #5: Check that the FSS information you're transmitting to PIC is accurate.

For every rent calculation on form HUD-50058 submitted to PIC, there's an FSS addendum. Its purpose is to transmit information regarding the FSS program, including whether anyone has started or ended the program (completions, drop-outs, terminations) as well as information on services provided and escrow accounts.

It's extremely important that this information is accurate in the PIC system, so that you're funded appropriately. Check the report! You can pull it directly off the Internet from the PIC system.

If you discover that the information in your PIC report doesn't match what you have in your hard copy files or FSS administration files, work with the PIC contact at your housing authority to fix it. They'll need to know what the errors are, and you'll need to provide them with hard copy data, which HUD requires before making any changes. They can then contact the PIC coach in the field office and work with them until the information is corrected.

Remember, HUD goes by what's in the electronic PIC data. If their data says you don't meet the criteria for an FSS coordinator grant, it doesn't matter what your hard copy files say — you don't qualify for the grant.

Additionally, if your data is clearly incorrect (for example, says you have 2,000 people enrolled when you're a small PHA), HUD has been known to deny grants on those grounds as well.

To sum up, the five tips I've discussed are:

Each of these tips contributes to running a better FSS program in its own right, but you may notice that each ties into one another. A strong understanding of the program goal is crucial for a consistent service delivery design and an effective PCC. Apply these tips together in order to achieve great results.

In her capacity with the San Diego Housing Commission, NMA Senior Associate Trainer Patti Zatarain-Menard designed, developed, and implemented one of the nation’s largest and most successful family self-sufficiency programs. For the past two decades, she has worked with Nan McKay and Associates conducting training seminars nationally and undertaking consulting assignments on federally subsidized housing.

If you find that you need assistance in maintaining a successful FSS program or setting up your FSS action plan, NMA can help.  Email for more information.