Community service is now required for the Watervliet Housing Authority’s tenants.
The Public Housing Reform Act requires all nonexempt adult members of families living in public housing to perform 8 hours per month of community service or participate in a self-sufficiency program for 8 hours or perform a combination of both for 8 hours per month. The Watervliet Housing Authority will have a list of possible sites in the community or activities that are acceptable to meet the service requirement. Tenants will be given general community service guidelines on types of activities, but will have great flexibility in determining where and how they will meet the service requirement as long as the activity is unpaid and can be documented. Tenants are expected to obtain written verification of completion of activities and the number of hours performed from the participating agency or organization. Tenants are required to send this information to the Housing Authority and to keep track of the total hours needed to meet the requirement. The service requirement can be waived for exempt individuals. Exempt individuals include an adult who:
1) Is 62 or older.
2) (i) Is blind or disabled individual, as defined under 216(i)(l) or 1614 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 416(i)(l); 1382c) and who certifies that because of this disability (s)he is unable to comply with the service provisions of this subpart, or (ii) primary caretaker of such an individual.
Persons who are exempt because of the following, may be required to provide written documentation or sign a release of information, to allow the PHA to obtain information from the welfare agency, to verify their exempt status.
3) Is engaged in work activities
4) Meets the requirements for being exempted from having to engaged in a work activity under the State program funded under part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) or under any other welfare program of the State in which the PHA is located, including a State-administered welfare-to-work program.
5) Is a member of a family receiving assistance, benefits or services under a state program funded under part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) or under any other welfare program of the State in which the PHA is located, including a State-administered welfare-to-work program, and has not been found by the State or other administering entity to be in non-compliance.
The Watervliet Housing Authority will incorporate the community service and self-sufficiency provision into residents lease and will review a family’s compliance with service requirements, and verify such compliance annually at least 30 days before the end of the 12-month lease term. The lease shall specify that it shall be renewed automatically at the end of the 12-month lease term, unless the family fails to comply with the service requirement.
Tenants will be notified collectively of the community service requirements in the monthly newsletter and letters will be sent to individual tenants stating their exempt or non-exempt status. In the event the tenant is not fulfilling his or her obligation, notification describing the noncompliance will be sent stating that their lease may not be renewed at the end of the 12-month lease term unless tenant complies with written agreement to cure noncompliance. This agreement will include:
- The additional number of hours of service or activities needed to make up the total number of hours required over the 12-month term of the lease and
- Assurance that all members of the family who are subject to the service requirement are currently complying with the service requirement or
- Written assurances satisfactory to the Watervliet Housing Authority that the tenant or other noncompliant resident no longer resides in the unit.
Tenants will be informed that they may request a grievance hearing on the PHA’s determination of noncompliance in accordance with part 966, subpart B and that tenants may exercise any judicial remedy to seek timely redress for the PHA’s nonrenewal of the lease because of such determination. The Watervliet Housing Authority will retain reasonable documentation of service requirement performance or exemption in participant files. The Watervliet Housing Authority will directly administer the program and will comply with nondiscrimination listed in 24 CFR 5.105(a) and equal opportunity requirements.
The attached documents are the time sheet, volunteer opportunity sheet and the community service packet that is required to be filled out by the tenant. There is also an exemption sheet for those tenants who may qualify.
If any tenants have any questions about the community service required of them, they should call the office.