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Issue Alert - 03-07-02

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Jul 09, 2002

Issue Summary:

Reinstatement of the community service requirement for public housing residents

Persons Affected:

Public housing residents


Public Housing

What's Happening?

Notice PIH 2003-17 instructs PHAs how to resume the community service requirement. The notice says that by July 31, PHAs must provide residents with written notice about the reinstatement of the requirement. This notification must tell residents whether they are exempt, and if not, what they will need to do to comply. The notice gives PHAs until October 31, 2003 to "assure that all affected residents are performing" the requirement. Future PHA Plan submissions (except those from "high performing" or small PHAs) must contain a description of the PHAs community service requirement program. The Notice says that residents who were not meeting their community service requirement under the lease in effect before the FY2002 suspension will still be obligated to fulfill it, if the resident was notified of the noncompliance before the expiration of that lease term. (that notice of noncompliance should be included with the notice the resident gets about the reinstatement of the requirement. These residents do not forfeit any of their cure or grievance rights. Finally, for exemption purposes, the notice encourages PHAs to consider 30 hours/week as the minimum number of hours for meeting the working person definition. Sierra Koch, a law student working at MPLP this Summer, assisted in the preparation of this issue alert.

What Should Advocates Do?

Know that the community service requirement for public housing tenants has been reinstated. Know that most residents are eligible for exemptions, but ensure that those who aren't get the procedural protections they are due (e.g. right to cure noncompliance, right to grievance hearing)

What Should Clients Do?

Public housing residents should be aware that the community service requirement is back in effect. Again, most residents qualify for exemptions.

Finding Help

Most legal aid and legal services office handle these type of cases, and they do not charge a fee. You can locate the "free" legal services or legal aid office that serves your county on the Michigan LawHelp website ( or look in the yellow pages under "attorneys" or call the toll-free lawyer referral number, (800) 968-0738