Boston Housing Authority

For Public Housing > Getting Settled > Community Service

Community Service Requirement

Some residents are required to perform at least eight hours of community service or economic self-sufficiency each month. If you are between the ages of 18 and 62 and live in a federally funded public housing development, you must meet this requirement. 
 

How to Satisfy the Requirement

Community service activities can be many things, including volunteer work in a local school, hospital or childcare center, working with youth organizations, tenant or neighborhood groups. By law, political activity is not eligible community service.

You can also perform economic self-sufficiency activities to meet the community service requirement. Economic self-sufficiency activities include job training programs, work or basic skills training, education, English language proficiency and financial or household management. Economic self-sufficiency can also be any program or apprenticeship to prepare you for work. An example of this is mental health or substance abuse treatment.

If you are required to perform community service or economic self-sufficiency, you must bring verification that you have completed eight hours of qualifying activity per month to your household’s next Annual Recertification. Verification forms are available in your Management Office.

If you and other eligible members of your household do not perform community service or economic self-sufficiency activities, the lease for your household may be terminated and your household could be evicted. 
 

Reasons You May Not Be Required to Perform Community Service

You are blind or disabled. You must provide proof of Social Security Disability or Social Security Insurance, or a pending application for either benefit. If you cannot provide this verification but still believe that you are unable to perform community service, you may request a reasonable accommodation from your manager.

You are the primary caregiver of a blind or disabled person. You must provide a statement from the person being cared for and include an estimate of how long you will be taking care of the blind or disabled person.

You work or take part in a work activity for 10 or more hours each week. You must provide verification of employment and number of hours worked from your employer. If it’s a work activity, the organization that sponsors the job training or other qualified program must verify your participation. In addition to employment, qualifying work activities may include job training or job search activities, vocational education, attendance at a secondary school or in a course leading to a GED. 

You could also be exempt if you provide childcare to a person at work or in a related program.

You are exempt from work activity under a federal or state welfare program. You must provide proof of the exemption from the welfare/transitional assistance/veterans services department.

You are a member of a household receiving assistance, benefits or services under a state or federal welfare program and are in compliance with the requirements of the program. You must provide verification of the receipt of assistance and compliance from the department providing you with benefits.

If you believe you qualify for one of these exemptions, please contact your Management Office and the staff will provide you with an exemption form. You can find your Management Office's contact information on the Public Housing Community page.