Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

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

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

NA The agency 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.
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
  • 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

PA-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

PA-HSCL 7.02

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

PA-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.

Fundamental Practice

PA-HSCL 7.04

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

PA-HSCL 7.05

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.