ADMISSIONS and CONTINUED OCCUPANCY POLICY (ACOP)

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1 ADMISSIONS and CONTINUED OCCUPANCY POLICY (ACOP) For Public Housing Housing Authority of the Lee County, Florida Warner Circle North Fort Myers, Florida 33903

2 The Housing Authority of Lee County, Florida Admission and Continued Occupancy Policy For the Public Housing Program (LIHP) Revision Dates Date Board Approved Resolution # Revisions Effective Date 05/14/ /01/ /20/2011 Total Revision 03/01/ /12/2012 Increase of Minimum 07/01/2012 Rent 09/26/2012 Smoke Free and 01/01/2013 Trespass Policies 10/25/ Reasonable Accommodation in Housing Procedure and Language Access Plan March 28, 2013 Approved 03/27/2013 See minutes attached Streamline Verification for assets under $5000, Streamlined reexamination of income for elderly and disabled families on fixed incomes 10/01/ /01/2012 April 1, 2013 The Housing Authority of Lee County Florida Warner Circle North Fort Myers, FL Phone (239) Fax: (239) TDD (800) Marcus D. Goodson, Executive Director

3 Table of Contents Chapter 1 STATEMENT OF POLICIES AND OBJECTIVES A. HOUSING AUTHORITY MISSION STATEMENT B. LOCAL OBJECTIVES C. ORGANIZATION AND STRUCTURE OF THE PHA D. FAIR HOUSING POLICY E. SERVICE AND ACCOMMODATIONS POLICY F. TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENTS G. PHAS OBJECTIVES H. FAMILY OUTREACH I. QUALITY HOUSING AND WORK RESPONSIBILITY ACT (QHWRA) J. FEDERAL PRIVACY ACT K. POSTING OF REQUIRED INFORMATION L. REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION in HOUSING PROCEDURE LANGUAGE ACCESS PLAN M. APPLICABLE REGULATIONS Chapter 2 ELIGIBILITY FOR ADMISSION A. QUALIFICATION FOR ADMISSION B. FAMILY COMPOSITION C. MANDATORY SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS D. CITIZENSHIPIELIGIBLE IMMIGRATION STATUS E. OTHER ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA F. NON-ECONOMIC ELIGIBIBLITY CRITERIA, ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY G. SCREENING FOR SUITABILITY H. HEARINGS I. HOPE VI RE-ADMISSION POLICY Chapter 3 APPLYING FOR ADMISSION A. HOW TO APPLY B. APPLICATI ON PROCEDURES C. PREFEREN CE DEFINED D. COMPLETION OF A FULL APPLICATION E. PROCESSING APPLICATIONS F. FINAL DETERMINATION AND NOTIFICATION OF ELIGIBILITY TOC-l

4 Table of Contents Chapter 4 TENANT SELECTION AND ASSIGNMENT PLAN A. MANAGEMENT OF THE WAITING LIST B. SITE BASED WAITING LIS TS C. WAITING LIST PREFERENCES D. DENIAL OF PREFERENCE E. INCOME TARGETING F. MIXED POPULATION UNITS G. GENERAL OCCUP AN CY UNITS H. DECONCENTRATION OF POVERTY AND INCOME-MIXING I. PROMOTION OF INTEGRATION J. OFFER OF PLACEMENT ON THE SECTION 8 WAITING LIST K. REMOVAL FROM WAITING LIST AND PURGING L. OFFER OF ACCESSIBLE UNITS M. PLAN FOR UNIT OFFERS N. CHANGES PRIOR TO UNIT OFFER O. APPLICANT STATUS AFTER FINAL UNIT OFFER P. TIME-LIMIT FOR ACCEPTANCE OF UNIT Q. REFUSAL OF OFFER Chapter 5 OCCUPANCY GUIDELINES A. DE TERMININ G UNIT SIZE B. EXCEPTIONS TO OCCUPANCY STANDARDS C. ACCESSIBLE UNITS D. FAMILY MOVES Chapter 6 DETERMINATION OF TOTAL TENANT PAYMENT A. MINIMUM RENT B. INCOME AND ALLOWANCES C. DISALLOWANCE OF EARNED INCOME FROM RENT DETERMINATIONS D. INDIVIDUAL SAVINGS ACCOUNTS E. TRAINING PROGRAMS FUNDED BY HUD F. AVERAGING INCOME G. MINIMUM INCOME H. INCOME OF PERSON PERMANENTLY CONFINED TO NURSING HOME TOC-2

5 Table of Contents I. REGULAR CONTRIBUTIONS AND GIFTS J. ALIMONY AND CHILD SUPPORT K. LUMP -SUM RECEIPTS L. CONTRIBUTIONS TO RETIREMENT FUNDS- ASSETS M. ASSETS DISPOSED OF FOR LESS THAN FAIR MARKET VALUE N. CHILD CARE EXPENSES O. MEDICAL EXPENSES P. PRORATION OF ASSISTANCE FOR "MIXED" FAMILIES Q. INCOME CHANGES RESULTING FROM WELFARE CHANGES R. UTILITY ALLOWANCE AND UTILITY REIMBURSEMENT PAYMENTS S. EXCESS UTILITY PAYMENTS T. FAMILY CHOICE IN RENTS U. LCHA'S FLAT RENT METHODOLOGY V. LCHA'S CEILING RENT Chapter 7 VERIFICATION PROCEDURES A. INTRODUCTION B SYSTEMS OF VERIFICATION C RELEASE OF INFORMATION D COMPUTER MATCHING E ACCEPTABLE METHODS OF VERIFICATION F TYPES OF VERIFICATION G VERIFICATION OF ASSETS H VERIFICATION OF ALLOWABLE DEDUCTIONS I VERIFYING OF NON-FINANCIAL FACTORS J. VERIFICATION OF CITIZENSHIP OR ELIGIBLE NONCITIZEN STATUS L. VERIFICATION OF SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER M TIMING OF VERIFICATION N FREQUENCY OF OBTAINING VERIFICATION Chapter 8 TRANSFER POLICY A. TYPES OF TRANSFERS B. TRANSFER WAITING LIST MANAGEMENT C. TRANSFER REQUEST AND APPROVAL PROCEDURE D. GOOD RECORD REQUIREMENT FOR TRANSFERS E. WAITING LIST MAINTENANCE AND OFFER PROCESS F. PROCESSING IN AND OUT OF DEVELOPMENTS G. GRIEVANCE RIGHTS TOC-3

6 Table of Contents H. EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES I. COST OF TRANSFERS Chapter 9 LEASING GENERAL LEASING POLICY A. LEASE ORIENTATION B. LEASE REQUIREMENTS C. EXECUTION OF LEASE D. ADDITIONS TO THE LEASE E. LEASING UNITS WITH ACCESSIBLE OR ADAPTABLE FEATURES F. UTILITY SERVICES AND RESIDENT OWNED APPLIANCES G. SECURITY D EPO SITS H. RENT PAYMENTS I. FEES AND NONPAYMENT PENAL TIES J. SCHEDULES OF SPECIAL CHARGES K. MODIFICATIONS TO THE LEASE L. CANCELLATION OF THE LEASE M. INSPECTIONS OF PUBLIC HOUSING UNITS Chapter 10 PET POLICY INTRODUCTION A. EXCLUSION OF ANIMALS THAT ASSIST DISABILITIES B. MANDITORY RULES FOR RESIDENTS WITH PETS C. CONTRO L OF ANIMALS D. UNATTENDED ANIMALS E. PROHIBITED PETS F. PET POLICY VIOLATION PROCEDURES G. SCHEDULE OF PET FEES AND INITIAL DEPOSIT Chapter 11 REEXAMINATIONS TOC-4

7 Table of Contents A. ELIGIBILITY FOR CONTINUED OCCUPANCY B. ANNUAL REEXAMINATIONS C. NOTICE OF CHANGES AND REPORTING INTERIM CHANGES D. OTHER INTERIM REPORTING ISSUES E. REPORTING OF CHANGES IN FAMILY COMPOSITION F. REMAINING MEMBER OF TENANT FAMILY - RETENTION OF UNIT G. CONTINUANCE OF ASSISTANCE FOR "MIXED" FAMILIES Chapter 12 LEASE TERMINATIONS A. TERMINATION BY TENANT B. TERMINATION BY LCHA C. NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS D. TERMINATIONS DUE TO INELIGIBLE IMMIGRATION STATUS Chapter 13 COMPLAINTS, GRIEVANCES AND APPEALS A. COMPLAINTS B. APPEALS BY APPLICANTS C. TENANT GRIEVANCE POLICY AND PROCEDURES D. DEFINITIONS Chapter 14 FAMILY DEBTS TO THE PHA A. PAYMENT AGREEMENT FOR FAMILIES B. DEBTS DUE TO FRAUD/NON-REPORTING OF INFORMATION C. WRITING OFF DEBTS Chapter 15 COMMUNITY SERVICE INTRODUCTION A. DEFINITIONS B. REQUIREMENTS OF THE PROGRAM C. LCHA OBLIGATIONS Chapter 16 TOC-5

8 Table of Contents PROGRAM INTEGRITY A. CRITERIA FOR INVESTIGATION OF SUSPECTED FRAUD AND ABUSE B. STEPS LCHA WILL TAKE TO PREVENT PROGRAM ABUSE AND FRAUD C. STEPS LCHA WILL TAKE TO DETECT PROGRAM ABUSE AND FRAUD D. LCHA'S HANDLING OF ALLEGATIONS ABUSE AND FRAUD E. HOW LCHA WILL INVESTIGATE ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE AND FRAUD F. PLACEMENT OF DOCUMENTS, EVIDENCE AND STATEMENTS G. CONCLUSION OF LCHAS INVESTIGATIVE REVIEW H. EVALUATION OF THE FINDINGS I. ACTION PROCEDURES FOR VIOLATIONS WHICH HAVE BEEN DOCUMENTED 16-5 Chapter 17 CRIMINAL RECORDS MANAGEMENT A. INTRODUCTION B. ACQUISITION C. MAINTENANCE D. DISPOSITION Chapter 18 SECURITY DEPOSITS A. INTRODUCTION B. SECURITY DEPOSIT AMOUNT C. PAYMENT AGREEMENT D. ADDITIONAL SECURITY DEPOSIT COLLECTION PROCEDURES E. TRANSFER OF SECURITY DEPOSIT Chapter 19 EVICTION POLICIES AND PROCEDURES A. OVERVIEW B. CAUSES FOR EVICTION C. DOCUMENTATION AND PROCESSING THE REQUEST TOC-6

9 Table of Contents D. TYPES OF EVICTION NOTICES AND FILING PROCEDURES E. ACCEPTANCE OF PAYMENTS DUE UNDER EVICTIONS F. DECISIONS OF THE COURTS CHAPTER 20 ENTERPRISES INCOME VERIFICATION SYSTEM A. EIV Privacy Policy 20-1 B. EIV Use Policy CHAPTER 21 Additional Policies Smoke Free Policy 21-1 Trespass Policy GLOSSARY GLOSSARY OF TERMS

10 Statement of Policies and Objectives Chapter 1 OVERVIEW OF THE PROGRAM AND PLAN INTRODUCTION The Housing Authority of Lee County, Florida is referred to as "PHA" or "Housing Authority" or "LCHA" throughout this document. The Public Housing Program was created by the U.S. Housing Act of The United States Housing Act of 1937 (the "Act") is responsible for the birth of federal housing program initiatives, known as public housing. The Act was intended to provide financial assistance to states and cities for public works projects, slum clearance and the development of affordable housing for low-income residents. There have been many changes to the program since its inception in The Housing Act of 1965 established the availability of federal assistance, administered through local public agencies, to provide rehabilitation grants for home repairs and rehabilitation. This act also created the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Housing Act of 1969 created an operating subsidy for the public housing program for the first time. Until that time, public housing was a self-sustaining program. In 1998, the Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act (QHWRA) - also known as the Public Housing Reform Act or Housing Act of was signed into law. Its purpose was to provide more private sector management guidelines to the public housing program and provide residents with greater choices. It also allowed PHAs more remedies to replace or revitalize severely distressed public housing developments. Highlights of the Reform Act include: the establishment of flat rents; the requirement for PHAs to develop five-year and annual plans; income targeting, a requirement that 40% of all new admissions in public housing during any given fiscal year be reserved for extremely low-income families; and resident self-sufficiency incentives. Administration of the Public Housing Program and the functions and responsibilities of the Public Housing Authority (PHA) staff shall be in compliance with the Housing Authority of Lee County of Florida (LCHA) Personnel Policy and this Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy (ACOP). The administration of the LCHA's housing program will also meet the requirements of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Such requirements include any Public Housing Regulations, Handbooks, and applicable Notices. All applicable Federal, State and Local Laws or Regulations shall supersede provisions in conflict with this policy. Federal regulations shall include those found in 24 CFR, Parts V, VII and IX. (Code of Federal Regulations). The PHA receives its operating subsidy for the public housing program from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The PHA is not a federal department or agency. A public housing agency (PHA) is a governmental or public body, created and authorized by state law to Copyright 2005 Nan McKay & Associates Unlimited copies may be made for internal use Page 1-1 ACOP 02/01/12009

11 Statement of Policies and Objectives develop and operate housing and housing programs for low-income families. The PHA enters into an Annual Contributions Contract with HUD to administer the public housing program. The PHA must ensure compliance with federal laws, regulations and notices and must establish policy and procedures to clarify federal requirements and to ensure consistency in program operation. This chapter contains information about the PHA and its programs with emphasis on the public housing program. It also contains information about the purpose, intent and use of the plan and guide. A. HOUSING AUTHORITY OF LEE COUNTY FLORIDA, MISSION STATEMENT The Housing Authority of Lee County Florida (LCHA) mission is to provide opportunities for changing lives for the better. It is the intent of the authority to ensure decent, safe and sanitary housing in good repair for families of limited income in all public housing units owned or operated by the Authority under the United States Act of LCHA is committed to operating in as efficient, ethical and professional matter, and will create and maintain partnership with its clients and appropriate community agencies in order to accomplish its mission. B. LOCAL OBJECTIVES This Admissions and Continued Occupancy Plan for the Public Housing Program is designed to demonstrate that LCHA is managing its program in a manner that reflects its commitment to improving the quality of housing available to its public, and its capacity to manage that housing in a manner that demonstrates its responsibility to the public trust. In addition, this Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy is designed to achieve the following objectives: To provide improved living conditions for very low and low income families while maintaining their rent payments at an affordable level. To operate a socially and financially sound public housing agency that provides decent, safe, and sanitary housing within a drug free, suitable living environment for tenants and their families. To avoid concentrations of economically and socially deprived families in anyone or all of the LCHA's public housing developments. To lawfully deny the admission of applicants, or the continued occupancy of residents, whose habits and practices reasonably may be expected to adversely affect the health, safety, comfort or welfare of other residents or the physical environment of the neighborhood, or create a danger to LCHA's employees. Copyright 2005 Nan McKay & Associates Unlimited copies may be made for internal use Page 1-2 ACOP 2/01/2009

12 Statement of Policies and Objectives To attempt to house a tenant body in each development that is composed of families with a broad range of incomes and rent-paying abilities that are representative of the range of incomes of low-income families in LCHA's jurisdiction. To provide opportunities for upward mobility or families who desire to achieve selfsufficiency. To facilitate the judicious management of LCHA's housing inventory, and the efficient management of LCHA staff. To ensure compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and all other applicable Federal laws and regulations so that the admissions and continued occupancy are conducted without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, disability or familial status. C. ORGANIZATION AND STRUCTURE OF THE PHA Public housing is funded by the federal government and administered by the Housing Authority of Lee County, Florida for the jurisdiction of Lee County, Florida. A board of officials that are generally called "commissioners" governs PHA s. Although some PHAs may use a different title for their officials, this document will hitherto refer to the "Board of Commissioners" or the "Board" when discussing the board of governing officials. Commissioners are appointed in accordance with state housing law and generally serve in the same capacity as the directors of a corporation. The board of commissioners establishes policies under which the PHA conducts business, and ensures that those policies are followed by PHA staff. The board is responsible for preserving and expanding the agency's resources and assuring the agency's continued viability and success. Formal actions of the PHA are taken through written resolutions, adopted by the board and entered into the official records of the PHA. The principal staff member of the PHA is the executive director (ED), who is selected and hired by the board. The ED oversees the day-to-day operations of the PHA and is directly responsible for carrying out the policies established by the commissioners. The ED's duties include hiring, training, and supervising the PHA's staff, as well as budgeting and financial planning for the agency. Additionally, the ED is charged with ensuring compliance with federal and state laws, and program mandates. In some PHAs, the ED is known by another title, such as chief executive officer or president. Purpose of this Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy (ACOP) is to establish guidelines for LCHA staff to follow in determining eligibility for admission and continued occupancy. These guidelines are governed by the requirements of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) with latitude for local policies and procedures. These policies and procedures for admissions and continued occupancy are binding upon applicants, residents, and LCHA. Copyright 2005 Nan McKay & Associates Unlimited copies may be made for internal use Page 1-3 ACOP 03/01/2011

13 Statement of Policies and Objectives D. FAIR HOUSING POLICY Nondiscrimination It is the policy of LCHA to fully comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights of Title VIII and Section 3 of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (as amended), Executive Order 11063, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, state and local Fair Housing laws, and any legislation protecting the individual rights of residents, applicants or staff which may be subsequently enacted. LCHA shall not discriminate because of race, color, sex, religion, familial status (in nonelderly designated housing), disability, or national origin in the leasing, rental, or other disposition of housing or related facilities, including land, included in any development or developments under its jurisdiction. LCHA shall not take any of the following actions on account of race, color, sex, religion, familial status, disability or national origin: Deny to any family the opportunity to apply for housing, nor deny to any eligible applicant the opportunity to lease housing suitable to its needs. Provide housing that is different than that provided to others. Subject a person to segregation or disparate treatment. Restrict a person's access to any benefit enjoyed by others in connection with any program operated by the Housing Authority. Treat a person differently in determining eligibility or other requirements for admission. Deny a person access to the same level of services. Deny a person the opportunity to participate in a planning or advisory group that is an integral part of the public housing program. LCHA shall not automatically deny admission to a particular group or category of otherwise eligible applicants (e.g. families with children born to unmarried parents or elderly pet owners). Each applicant in a particular group or category will be treated on an individual basis in the normal processing routine. LCHA will seek to identify and eliminate situations or procedures that create a barrier to equal housing opportunity for all. In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act if 1973, LCHA will make such physical or procedural changes as will reasonably accommodate people with disabilities. Copyright 2005 Nan McKay & Associates Unlimited copies may be made for internal use Page 1-4 ACOP 03/01/2011

14 Statement of Policies and Objectives LCHA records with respect to applicants for admission shall indicate for each application the date or receipt, the determination of eligibility or non-eligibility, the preference rating if any, and the date, location, identification, and circumstances of each vacancy offered and whether that vacancy was accepted or rejected. Affirmative Marketing As conditions may require, LCHA will post notices of housing availability in particular neighborhoods or developments to encourage fuller participation. LCHA may issue public announcements of availability to encourage applicants for assistance. Among the marketing efforts LCHA may engage in depending on the situation are the following: Send informational spots to local media outlets such as newspapers, other periodicals for broadcast or publication, radio stations, and or cable TV. Special outreaches to minorities, persons with disabilities and very low-income families. Distribute pamphlets and brochures Post notices in place of employment, unemployment offices, welfare offices, post offices, grocery stores, churches, community halls, public transportation centers, and with other agency community service providers. Conduct outreach to organizations that assist people with disabilities, the elderly, students, immigrants, homeless people and victims of domestic violence. If language is a problem, brochures may be printed in Spanish or other languages as required. Operations In order to further the objectives of nondiscrimination, LCHA shall: Include in the admissions briefings for all LCHA programs a section on compliance with Civil Rights laws. The briefings shall explain to all participants what should be done if they believe they have been discriminated against. Prominently display Fair Housing posters in every development office owned by LCHA and in the LCHA administrative offices. Such poster shall be posted in such a manner as to be easily readable from a wheelchair. Use the Equal Housing Opportunity logo and or statement in all advertising and in all marketing publications of LCHA. LCHA shall be particularly conscious of human models used it its publications so as to avoid signaling any sense of discrimination. LCHA shall maintain a TDD/TTY machine or access to a TDD/TTY for the use of the hearing impaired. As many publications as feasible shall be printed both in English and Spanish or any other languages as may be commonly spoken within Lee County. LCHA will employ Copyright 2005 Nan McKay & Associates Unlimited copies may be made for internal use Page 1-5 ACOP 03/01/2011

15 Statement of Policies and Objectives number of staff with bi -lingual language capabilities in English and Spanish or any other language as may be commonly spoken within Lee County. E. SERVICE AND ACCOMMODATIONS POLICY This policy is applicable to all situations described in this Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy when a family initiates contact with LCHA, when LCHA initiates contact with a family including when a family applies, and when LCHA schedules or reschedules appointments of any kind. It is the policy of LCHA to be service-directed in the administration of our housing programs, and to exercise and demonstrate a high level of professionalism while providing housing services to the families within our jurisdiction. LCHA's policies and practices will be designed to provide assurances that all persons with disabilities will be provided reasonable accommodation so that they may fully access and utilize the housing program and related services. The availability of specific accommodations will be made known by including notices on LCHA forms and letters to all families, and all requests will be verified so that the LCHA can properly accommodate the need presented by the disability. Federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 With respect to an individual, the term "disability", as defined by the 1990 Act means: A person with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual. Has a record of such impairment; or is regarded as having such impairment. (The disability may not be apparent to others, i.e., hard condition). Undue Hardship Requests for reasonable accommodations from persons with disabilities will be granted upon verification that they meet the need presented by the disability and they do not create an "undue financial and administrative burden" for LCHA, meaning an action requiring "significant difficulty or expense." In determining whether accommodation would create an undue hardship, the following guidelines will apply: 1. The nature and cost of the accommodation needed; 2. The overall financial resources of the facility or facilities involved in the provisions of the reasonable accommodation. Copyright 2005 Nan McKay & Associates Unlimited copies may be made for internal use Page 1-6 ACOP 03/01/2011

16 Statement of Policies and Objectives If more than one accommodation is equally effective in providing access to the LCHA's programs and services, the LCHA retains the right to select the most efficient or economical choice. Any request for an accommodation that would enable a tenant to materially violate essential lease terms will not be approved, i.e. allowing nonpayment of rent, destruction of property, disturbing the peaceful enjoyment of others, etc. Interpretation for Visual or Audible Impairments Documents intended for use by applicants and resident will be made available in formats accessible for those with vision or hearing impairments in compliance with Fair Housing Act, 24 CFR 8.6, including communications by way of TDD/TTY for those applicants or program participants who are speech or hearing impaired. Other Accommodations Qualified families will be offered an accessible unit, upon request by the family, when an accessible unit is available. Due to the limited number of accessible units, LCHA will offer vacant accessible units with features for persons with disabilities as follows: 1. First to a current resident of the same development, or of another development under common control, who requires a unit with accessible features. If no such resident exists, then; 2. Second, to an eligible qualified applicant on the Waiting List having a disability and requiring the features of an accessible unit. If no such applicant exists, then; 3. Third, to an otherwise eligible applicant without a disability requiring an accessible unit. This applicant shall be required to move to a non-accessible unit when the accessible unit is needed as an accommodation for a qualified family and non-accessible unit is available. Proper notice will be given. F. IMPROVING ACCESS TO SERVICES FOR PERSONS WITH LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY (LEP) Overview Language for Limited English Proficiency Persons (LEP) can be a barrier to accessing important benefits or services, understanding and exercising important rights, complying with applicable responsibilities, or understanding other information provided by the public housing program. In certain circumstances, failure to ensure that LEP persons can effectively participate in or benefit from federally-assisted programs and activities may violate the prohibition under Title VI against discrimination on the basis of national origin. This part incorporates the Notice of guidance to Copyright 2005 Nan McKay & Associates Unlimited copies may be made for internal use Page 1-7 ACOP 03/01/2011

17 Statement of Policies and Objectives Federal Assistance Recipients regarding title VI Prohibition Affecting Limited English Proficient Persons, published December 19, 2003 in the Federal Register. The LCHA will take affirmative steps to communicate with people who need services or information in a language other than English. These persons will be referred to as Persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP). LEP persons are defined as persons who do not speak English as their primary language and who have a limited ability to read, write, speak or understand English. For the purposes of this Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy (ACOP), LEP persons are public housing applicants and resident families, and parents and family member of applicants and resident families. In order to determine the level of access needed by LEP person's the PHA will balance the following four factors: 1. the number or proportion of LEP persons eligible to be served or likely to be encountered by the public housing program; 2. the frequency with which LEP persons come into contact with the program; 3. the nature and importance of the program, activity, or service provided by the program to people's lives; 4. the resources available to the PHA and costs. Balancing these four factors will ensure meaningful access by LEP persons to critical services while not imposing undue burdens on the PHA. Oral Interpretation In a courtroom, a hearing, or situations in which health, safety, or access to important benefits and services are at stake, the PHA will generally offer, or ensure that the family is offered through other sources, competent interpretation services free of charge to the LEP person. LCHA Policy In order to comply with written-translation obligation, the HA will take the following steps. 1. The PHA will provide written translations of vital documents for each eligible LEP language group that constitutes 5 percent (5%) or 1,000 persons, whichever is less, of the population of person eligible to be served or likely to be affected or encountered. Translation of other documents, if needed, can be provided orally; or 2. If there are fewer than 50 persons in a language group that reaches the 5 percent (5%) trigger, the PHA may not translate vital written material, but will provide Copyright 2005 Nan McKay & Associates Unlimited copies may be made for internal use Page 1-8 ACOP 02/0/12009

18 Statement of Policies and Objectives Implementation Plan written notice in the primary language of the LEP language group of the right to receive competent or all interpretation of those written materials, free of cost. After completing the four-factor analysis and deciding what language assistance services are appropriate, the PHA shall determine whether it is necessary to develop a written implementation plan to address the identified needs of the LEP populations it serves. If the PHA determines that it is not necessary to develop a written implementation plan, the absence of a written plan does not obviate the underlying obligation to ensure meaningful access by LEP persons to the PHA's public housing program services. LCHA Policy If it is determined that the PHA serves few LEP persons, and the PHA have very limited resources, the PHA will not develop a written LEP plan, but will consider alternative ways to articulate in a reasonable manner a plan for providing meaningful access. Entities having significant contact with LEP persons, such as schools, grassroots and faith-based organizations, community groups and groups working with new immigrants will be contacted for input into the process. If the HA determines it is appropriate to develop a written LEP plan, the following five (5) steps will be taken: (1) Identifying LEP individuals who need language assistance; (2) Identifying language assistance measures; (3) Training staff; (4) Providing notice to LEP persons; and (5) Monitoring and updating the LEP plan. G. PUBLIC HOUSING MANAGEMENT ASSESSMENT SYSTEM (PHAS) OBJECTIVES [24 CFR 901 & 902] LCHA operates its public housing program with efficiency and can demonstrate to HUD or independent auditors that LCHA is using its resources in a manner that reflects its commitment to quality and service. LCHA policies and practices are consistent with the new Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS) outlined in the 24 CFR Parts 901 and 902 final published regulations. LCHA is continuously assessing its program and consistently strives to make improvements. The LCHA acknowledges that its performance rating is important to sustaining its capacity of maintaining flexibility and authority. HADFM intends to diligently manage its current program operations and continuously make efforts to be in full compliance with PHAS. The policies and procedures of this program are established so that the standards set forth by PHAS are demonstrated and can be objectively reviewed by an auditor whose purpose is to evaluate performance. Copyright 2005 Nan McKay & Associates Unlimited copies may be made for internal use Page 1-9 ACOP 02/0/12009

19 Statement of Policies and Objectives H. FAMILY OUTREACH LCHA will publicize and disseminate information to make known the availability of housing units and housing-related services for low-income families on a regular basis. LCHA will communicate the status of housing availability to other service providers in the community. LCHA will advise them of housing eligibility factors and guidelines in order that they can make proper referrals for those who seek housing. I. QUALITY HOUSING AND WORK RESPONSIBILITY ACT (QHWRA) LCHA shall comply with the Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998 (QHWRA). QHWRA amends the Housing Act of 1937 to include the following operational practices of the Public Housing program: Deregulation and decontrol of public housing agencies, enabling agencies to perform as property and asset managers; Flexibility in use of Federal assistance to enable the agency to leverage and combine assistance amounts with amounts obtained from other sources; The facilitation of mixed income communities and the de-concentration of poverty; An increased accountability to HUD with rewards for effective management of the Public Housing programs; and Ability to create incentives and economic opportunities for residents of Public Housing to work, become self-sufficient. J. FEDERAL PRIVACY ACT LCHA'S practices and procedures are designed to safeguard the privacy of applicants and residents. Applicants and residents, including all adults in their households, are required to sign the form HUD-9886, "Authorization for Release of Information and Privacy Act Notice". This document incorporates the Federal Privacy Act Statement and describes the conditions under which HUD will release family information. LCHA's policy regarding release of information is in accordance with State and Local laws that may restrict the release of family information. Copyright 2005 Nan McKay & Associates Unlimited copies may be made for internal use Page 1-10 ACOP 03/01/2011

20 Statement of Policies and Objectives Files will never be left unattended or placed in common area. Criminal Background check information will be kept in the file with access only by authorized personnel of LCHA. Upon making a determination of eligibility, the criminal background check information will be destroyed 30 days after move in. Any and all information which would lead one to determine the nature and/or severity of a person's disability will not be placed in applicant or tenant files. The authorized LCHA representative will review the personal information, review of documents will be noted in the file and the originals will be returned to the applicant/tenant. If there is a need to maintain this information, it must be kept in a separate folder and marked "confidential". The personal information must not be released except on an "as needed" basis in cases where an accommodation is under consideration. LCHA staff will not discuss or access family information contained in files unless there is a business reason to do so. Staff will be required to disclose whether she/he has relatives living in Public Housing. Inappropriate discussion of family information or improper disclosure of family information by staff will result in disciplinary action. K. POSTING OF REQUIRED INFORMATION LCHA will maintain bulletin boards in conspicuous areas of the Administrative Office and the individual site development offices. The bulletin boards will contain the following information: Statement of policies and procedures governing Admission and Continued Occupancy Policy (ACOP) Information on application taking Directory of LCHA housing sites including names, address of offices and office hours at each facility/development Income limits for admission (current) Current schedule of routine maintenance charges A copy of the lease LCHA's grievance procedures A Fair Housing Poster An Equal Opportunity Employment poster Current Resident Notices Required Public Notices Security Deposit Charges Schedule of Utility Allowances Flat Rent Schedule Copyright 2005 Nan McKay & Associates Unlimited copies may be made for internal use Page 1-11 ACOP 03/01/2011

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