Q. What is Community Service?
A. A service for which an individual volunteers that offers residents an opportunity to contribute to the community that supports them (examples: improving environment of a resident’s development, hospitals, youth organizations, neighborhood groups, etc). Some community services can be considered as self-sufficiency activities.
Q. What is the community service requirement (CSR)?
A. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development requires all non-exempt adult family members living in public housing to contribute 8 hours of community service per month. The community service requirement can be satisfied by participating in an economic self-sufficiency program. Such programs would include activities designed to encourage, assist, train or facilitate economic independence (examples: budgeting classes, computer training, GED preparation, household management, house keeping, etc).
Q. Where do I start once I learn I am not exempt?
A. You will need to pick up a Community Service Packet at the Housing Authority of Henderson Office. The packet will explain about the program and its requirements. You will also need to meet with the Housing Manager in a briefing. This meeting will inform you of self-sufficiency programs, agency referrals and your responsibilities for fulfilling the requirement.
Q. When will I begin to satisfy my requirements?
A. Your requirements begin when you are first considered a Non-Exempt resident. You must sign a Community Service Status Change form, which will be marked making you Non-Exempt. Depending on the day, you become Non-Exempt your 8-hour minimum will usually start the same month in which you become Non-Exempt. If you become Non-Exempt late in the month, you will start your 8-hour minimum on the first of the following month.
Q. What are my obligations as a non-exempt adult?
A. You will get a Community Service Time Sheet from the Housing Authority of Henderson. It will need to be completed by the supervisor of the company, program or agency in which you are participating. It is to be brought to the Housing office each month and turned in. If 8 hours have been performed, and can be verified, you will receive a new time sheet.
Q. How do I determine if I am exempt?
A. If you are 62 years of age or older, disabled, a primary caregiver of a household member who is blind or disabled, already working or attending school full time, exempt from work requirements under State welfare programs, or persons receiving (and in compliance with) assistance under state welfare programs. You may also be exempt if you have a child under the age of 12 months in the household. However, for a two-parent family, only one parent may be exempted for having a child under the age of 12 months.
Q. What if I am required to perform the 8 hours and cannot?
A. You will be allowed to make up the hours needed. Continued non-compliance will result in eviction of the entire family unless the non- compliant family member is no longer a part of the household.
Q. What if my situation changes?
A. Non-exempt family members can request a determination of exemption at any time during the year if proper documentation is provided. The Exempt member must also report to the office when their status changes to Non-Exempt.
Q. Must the 8 hours be satisfied at once or can they be spread throughout the month?
A. The required 8 hours per month can be completed in increments or all at once, this is at the discretion of the Resident and the supervisor of the selected agency.
Q. Who should I contact regarding the requirements or questions I might have?
A. You should direct questions and concerns to Ken Schmidt or Jerry Dossett Project Managers or Bobbie Jarrett, Executive Director. Call 827-1294 for an appointment.
Q. How long am I required to perform these 8-hours per month?
A. You must perform the 8 hours of community service and/or economic self-sufficiency as long as you live in public housing and are of non-exempt status.
Q. When I find an activity that interests me, should I contact the Housing Authority?
A. If prior approval for a specific activity or agency has not been made or if the activity/agency is not listed as approved for the community service requirements; non-exempt adults must pre-approve the activity with the Housing Authority before hours can count toward the requirements.
Q. What if I do not drive or do not own a car, how will I get to the activity?
A. You are responsible for choosing an agency or activity that best suits your situation. Most activities in your development count as community service and are of walking distance.
Q. What if I am unhappy about a chosen activity and wish to change my mind?
A. You can perform your required hours at any approved agency/activity. Therefore, performing activities at many approved sites or just one is solely your choice.
Q. What if I am paid for an activity, is that considered a community service requirement?
A. A paid activity does not count toward your community service. If you are being paid, and work more than 15 hours per week, you are considered employed and are exempt from community service. No paid position, political activity or demeaning activity is permitted toward the CSR.
Q. What happens if I work more than the required 8 hours per month?
A. If you work more than the required 8 hours in a month, you will not be allowed to carry the extra hours over into the next month. You must work a minimum of 8 hours each month.
Q. What happens if I get behind in my hours?
A. In order to get current, you will need to work more hours per month to make up for previous months. You will be considered to be in non-compliance until you are current.
Q. How will I know how many hours I owe?
A. If you are behind you will receive each month a letter showing how many hours you currently owe
Q. How long do I have to make up hours?
A. You will have from the effective date of your annual re-certification to the effective date of your next re-certification to be current in all hours. If you fail to be current by then, you will enter a “Cure” period. This Cure period will give you an additional 12 months to be current. If at the end of this period, you have failed to perform all of your required hours; your lease will not be renewed.
Q. Where do I turn in my time sheets?
A. Once you have obtained a minimum of 8 hours on your time sheet, make sure the form is filled out correctly and completely. You turn in the time sheets during the first week of each month and obtain another time sheet. The information on the time sheet is recorded as to the number of hours worked for a specific period. Make sure the activity you are involved in is an acceptable activity for community service. If you work hours in an activity that is not accepted, you will not get credit for those hours. Any questions about community service should always be directed to the Housing Manager or the Executive Director.