Standards for private organizations

2020 Edition

Housing Stabilization and Community Living Services (HSCL) 7: The Rights of Service Recipients

The organization respects individuals' rights, dignity, and values.
NA The organization does not own, lease, or manage any apartments or other community living arrangements.

NA The organization only provides homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing services.
2020 Edition




Individuals and families that use Housing Stabilization and Community Living Services obtain and maintain stable housing in the community and strengthen personal support systems in order to live as independently as possible.
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Acceptance procedures
  • Programming and house rules, including regarding overnight guests
  • Procedures for entering a resident’s room or apartment
  • Eviction/discharge policy
  • Eviction/discharge procedures 
  • Leasing and/or placement agreements
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Review case records
  • Observe facilities and settings


HSCL 7.01

The environment promotes a non-threatening, welcoming, and inclusive approach and fosters trust and engagement for all service recipients.


Programs should provide an affirming, safe and welcoming environment for all individuals. Youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) are greatly overrepresented among youth experiencing homelessness. Programs can help to signal that they provide an environment that is safe and welcoming, for example, by posting “visual cues” in the reception or common area such as a nondiscrimination policy or LGBTQ symbols (i.e., posters, stickers, and flags).

Fundamental Practice

HSCL 7.02

Acceptance procedures include:
  1. fair and objective selection criteria; and
  2. written notification regarding reasons for non-acceptance.


HSCL 7.03

Programming and house rules are developed with the participation of service recipients, and service recipients are encouraged to organize, self-govern, and enforce the rules.


HSCL 7.04

Individuals are permitted to have guests, including overnight guests, as appropriate to the population and type of living situation, and are informed of their responsibility for the behavior of their guests.

Fundamental Practice

HSCL 7.05

Individuals are notified in writing about circumstances that permit maintenance personnel to enter a room or apartment without the occupant's permission, and receive at least 24-hours’ notice when access is required in non-emergency situations.

Fundamental Practice

HSCL 7.06

Written policies and procedures regarding eviction and discharge:
  1. are provided at intake;
  2. are clear and simple, avoiding overly rigid and bureaucratic language and rules;
  3. define specific behaviors, conditions, or circumstances that may result in eviction and discharge;
  4. include timely due process provisions; and
  5. describe the conditions or process for re-admittance.


Eviction should be rare and avoided whenever possible.