Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Housing Stabilization and Community Living Services (PA-HSCL) 5: Service Components

The agency provides services that meet immediate needs and encourage the development of personal support systems and independence in community-based, safe, minimally intrusive, and accessible housing.
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.
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions: exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement.
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented. 
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.

Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  

  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.  
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.  
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed service delivery infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Table of contents of educational/skills training curricula
  • Procedures for referring individuals to services
  • Procedures for recruiting and retaining landlords
  • Criteria for making group assignments 
  • Informational materials provided to service recipients
  • Educational/skills training curricula
  • Community resource and referral list
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Review case records
  • Observe facilities and settings


PA-HSCL 5.01

Services are provided in settings that are readily accessible to public transportation, shopping, and community-based services and resources.


PA-HSCL 5.02

The agency considers the unique characteristics of service recipients when grouping people together.


Characteristics that should be considered can include the number of individuals grouped together, age, special needs, gender, gender identity, and gender expression. All service recipients should be treated according to their self-identified gender, meaning that transgender and gender non-conforming service recipients should be given access to sleeping quarters, bathroom facilities, and services based on their stated gender, not their assigned sex at birth, in accordance with applicable federal and state laws.
NA The agency only provides homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing services and does not offer housing services directly to service recipients.


PA-HSCL 5.03

Housing services include:
  1. information about community housing options;
  2. assistance obtaining a safe, stable living environment, including housing search support;
  3. assistance applying for rental subsidy or other financial aid programs;
  4. education on tenant rights and responsibilities;
  5. a process to alert service staff when an individuals' rent is overdue and to help prevent rent arrears from mounting; and
  6. tenancy supports.
NA The service population is limited to children and youth for whom living independently is not an alternative.
Examples: Tenancy supports can help individuals resolve past housing barriers and current housing crises, and avoid accumulating new barriers (e.g. evictions or lease violations). Tenancy supports can assist individuals in understanding the requirements of their lease, budgeting, basic landlord-tenant rights and responsibilities, and conflict avoidance or resolution.


PA-HSCL 5.04

The agency provides case management and services that are tailored to the needs and preferences of individual service recipients.


In rapid re-housing programs, service recipients should choose when, where, and how often case management meetings occur. Services should be delivered either in the service recipient’s home or in a location of their choosing whenever possible.


PA-HSCL 5.05

Skills training that promotes independence and/or housing stability is offered to service recipients as needed, and includes:
  1. activities of daily living;
  2. household management;
  3. budgeting and money management;
  4. credit and debt counseling;
  5. personal safety;
  6. the use of community resources;
  7. information about mainstream benefits and employment; and
  8. interpersonal communication such as conflict avoidance or resolution.
NA The service population is limited to children and youth for whom living independently is not an alternative.

Fundamental Practice

PA-HSCL 5.06

Health services, provided directly or through referral, include:
  1. routine medical and dental care;
  2. clinical services, including substance use and mental health services;
  3. medication management and/or monitoring;
  4. medical respite care services;
  5. developmentally appropriate information regarding topics including pregnancy prevention, family planning, safe and healthy relationships, and prevention of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases; and
  6. harm reduction that aims to prevent behaviors that can have a negative outcomes and/or reduce the negative outcomes associated with that behavior.


When an agency does not provide linkages to family planning services because doing so is counter to its mission or beliefs, the agency should disclose this fact to service recipients and provide individuals with a list of other community providers that offer pregnancy support and education services.


Transgender service recipients may need assistance accessing specialized medical services and should be referred to appropriate providers in the community, as needed.
Examples: Regarding element (f), interventions and goals may vary depending on the behavior that is targeted and the population served, for example preventing pregnancy among youth or reducing harm from continued substance use among adults.


PA-HSCL 5.07

Supportive services help service recipients resolve their current housing crisis and prevent future episodes of housing instability, and include, as needed:
  1. crisis intervention;
  2. transportation;
  3. legal assistance;
  4. case advocacy;
  5. parent education and family support;
  6. mainstream benefits enrollment;
  7. help with basic literacy;
  8. help with basic computer literacy; 
  9. educational services, including G.E.D. preparation;
  10. child care; and
  11. social, cultural, recreational, and religious/spiritual activities.


PA-HSCL 5.08

Employment and vocational support includes helping service recipients:
  1. develop the habits, skills, and self-awareness essential to employability;
  2. write resumes, complete job applications, and prepare for interviews; 
  3. find and access local employment resources and placement options, including on-the-job training;
  4. secure childcare while attending interviews; and
  5. travel to interviews and places of employment.
NA The agency only provides homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing services and does not offer employment and vocational support to service recipients.


PA-HSCL 5.09

The agency provides time-limited financial assistance to subsidize housing costs.
NA The agency does not provide financial assistance.
Examples: Financial assistance may cover costs such as:
  1. relocation or moving costs; 
  2. security deposits; 
  3. rent payments; 
  4. utility deposits and/or payments; or
  5. other barriers to housing, such as child care or transportation.


PA-HSCL 5.10

The agency establishes strategies for recruiting and retaining landlords in order to maximize housing options for service recipients with tenant screening barriers.


Landlord participation is an essential component to rapid re-housing. Agencies utilizing this model should address potential barriers to landlord recruitment and retention by promoting landlord supports - the incentives offered to landlords for renting to service recipients - including: response to landlord concerns about lease adherence or complaints from other tenants; tenant-landlord mediation; home-based case management; and time-limited financial assistance for move-in costs and rent payments.
NA The agency owns, leases, or manages apartments or other community living arrangements.