Panel Paper: Insights on the Performance of Local Family Self-Sufficiency Programs from New Hud Measures

Saturday, November 10, 2018
8222 - Lobby Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Lesley Freiman, Abt Associates, Inc.

On December 12, 2017, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a notice in the Federal Register describing, and inviting comment on, a new performance measurement system for the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program. At the same time, HUD published data on the performance of nearly all local FSS programs receiving HUD grants for FSS program coordinators. HUD expects to finalize the performance measurement system and issue a spreadsheet with updated data in the first half of 2018.

These are the most complete standardized performance data ever published on local FSS programs and provide valuable insight into the outcomes of local FSS programs and the variability across programs. Through a cooperative agreement, we have assisted HUD in developing the new performance measurement system and compiling the program data. Based on our knowledge of the performance measurement system and the FSS program, we will describe how the performance measures are constructed and summarize what the initial performance data show on the performance of local FSS programs. The data cover earnings growth, graduation rates, and program size relative to HUD coordinator funding levels.

While there have been formal evaluations of a small number of individual FSS programs, and a national evaluation of 18 programs is underway, the new HUD performance data cover more than 700 programs around the U.S., providing an unprecedented level of detail on the nature and variability of outcomes under this important HUD program. This paper will provide a thorough review of the baseline performance of FSS programs under this new system, expanding awareness of both the results and the data measures, which could be useful for researchers and policymakers interested in tracking the performance of local FSS programs (and FSS programs as a whole) over time.