Chapter 122:5-2 Community Action Agencies

122:5-2-01 Definitions.

As used in the rules of the department of development, office of community services:

(A) "C.S.B.G. program" means the state-administered community services block grant program as authorized by the Community Services Block Grant Act, 42 U.S.C. 9901 - 9912 .

(B) "Office of community services" means the office created within the Ohio department of development and charged with the administration of the Ohio C.S.B.G. program.

(C) "C.S.B.G. provider" means a community action agency or migrant and seasonal farmworker organization funded by the office of community services to carry out the C.S.B.G. program in a single- or multi-county area.

(D) "Community action agency" means a community-based and operated private nonprofit agency or organization that includes or is designed to include a sufficient number of projects or components to provide a range of services and activities having a measurable and potentially major impact on the causes of poverty in the community or those areas of the community where poverty is a particularly acute problem and is designated as a community action agency by the office of community services pursuant to sections 122.68 and 122.69 of the Revised Code.

(E) "Community" means a city, village, county, multi-city or multi-county unit, a neighborhood or other area, disregarding boundaries of political subdivisions, which provides a suitable organizational base and possesses a commonality of needs and interests for a community action program suitable to be served by a community action agency.

(F) "Service area" means the geographical area served by a community action agency.

(G) "Low-income person" means a person whose adjusted gross income as defined in division (A) of section 5747.01 of the Revised Code is below the poverty line.

(H) "Poverty line" means the official poverty line established by the director of the United States office of management and budget and as revised in accordance with section 673(2) of the Community Services Block Grant Act, 95 Stat. 1609, 42 U.S.C. 9902 .

(I) "Grant agreement" means the agreement between the Ohio department of development, office of community services and a C.S.B.G. provider, whereby funds are granted to the C.S.B.G. provider to carry out specified programs, services or activities authorized under the Community Services Block Grant Act, 42 U.S.C. 9901 - 9912 .

(J) "Program participant" means an individual or family unit receiving funds or services provided by a C.S.B.G. provider.

(K) "Chief elected official" means the mayor of a municipal corporation or, if no mayor is directly elected in a municipal corporation, then the person designated to act as such by the legislative authority of a municipal corporation shall be considered its chief elected official, and each county commissioner.

(L) "Endorsement" means the exclusive recognition and approval of a community action agency by a chief elected official.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/13/2003 and 11/13/2008

Promulgated Under: 119.03

Statutory Authority: 122.68

Rule Amplifies: ORC 122.68 , 122.69 , 122.70 , 122.701

Prior Effective Dates: 3/30/86, 3/21/85, 10/10/84

122:5-2-02 Yearly performance assessments.

The office of community services will conduct yearly performance assessments, according to the following criteria, to determine whether community action agencies are in compliance with section 122.69 of the Revised Code:

(A) A nonprofit agency or organization shall be deemed to have obtained the endorsement of a chief elected official of a municipal corporation or county within the community to be served by the agency or organization when written notice of such endorsement is received by certified mail by the office of community services at the following address: "Office of Community Services, Ohio Department of Development, P.O. Box 1001, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1001." A copy of the notice of endorsement shall be provided by such chief elected official to the nonprofit agency or organization seeking designation as a community action agency. Notice of endorsement by a chief elected official of a municipal corporation or county of a nonprofit agency or organization seeking designation as a community action agency shall remain effective until a notice of rescission of endorsement is received by certified mail by the office of community services at the same address. A copy of the notice of rescission of endorsement shall be provided by such chief elected official to the nonprofit agency or organization seeking designation as a community action agency.

(B) A designated community action agency shall be determined to have provided a range of services and opportunities having a measurable and potentially major impact on the causes of poverty in the community or those areas of the community where poverty is a particularly acute problem based on the extent to which its program activities, conducted in compliance with fiscal and programmatic guidelines as set forth in these rules, meet the goals and objectives delineated in its annual program plan as approved by the office of community services.

(C) As part of its annual program plan and budget submission each designated community action agency shall submit to the office of community services a board roster along with certification that the composition of the board meets the following requirements:

(1) The board consists of not fewer than fifteen nor more than thirty-three members;

(2) One-third of the members of the board are elected public officials, currently holding office, or their representatives, except that if the number of elected officials reasonably available and willing to serve is less than one-third of the membership of the board, membership on the board of appointive public officials may be counted in meeting such one-third requirement;

(3) At least one-third of the members are persons chosen in accordance with democratic selection procedures adequate to assure that they are representative of the poor in the service area; and

(4) The remainder of the members are officials or members of business, industry, labor, religious, welfare, education, or other major groups and interests in the community.

(D) Each designated community action agency shall submit to the office of community services along with its annual program plan and budget, a certification that a copy of the program plan and budget was made available to the chief elected officials of the municipal corporations and counties within the service area at least ten days prior to submission of the plan and budget to the office of community services.

(E) Each designated community action agency shall submit to the office of community services as part of its annual program plan and budget, assurances that it will comply with the prohibitions against discrimination and political activity, as provided for in the Community Services Block Grant Act. In addition to any other procedures available to secure compliance with such assurances, written complaints of non-compliance with these provisions by a designated community action agency may be filed by letter to the office of community services at the following address: "Office of Community Services, Ohio Department of Development, P.O. Box 1001, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1001." Any and all such complaints shall be forwarded by the office of community services to the agencies or tribunals having jurisdiction to investigate such compaints. Adjudications by such agencies or tribunals shall be considered in determining whether C.S.B.G. providers are in compliance with the prohibitions against discrimination and political activity as provided in the Community Services Block Grant Act.

(F) Each designated community action agency shall be subject to audit to determine compliance with fiscal and program requirements as set forth in these rules and as amplified and revised from time to time by bulletins which shall be automatically forwarded without charge to designated community action agencies, and upon request to any citizen who requests copies by writing to the office of community services at the following address: "Office of Community Services, Ohio Department of Development, P.O. Box 1001, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1001."

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/13/2003 and 11/13/2008

Promulgated Under: 119.03

Statutory Authority: 122.68(E)

Rule Amplifies: 122.68

Prior Effective Dates: 3/21/1985, 10/10/1984

122:5-2-03 Program and fiscal requirements.

(A) Each designated community action agency shall:

(1) Annually apply for C.S.B.G. funds through submission of a program plan and budget which, upon approval by the office of community services, shall become part of a grant agreement between the Ohio department of development, office of community services, and the designated community action agency. The program shall include activities which provide a range of services and opportunities having a measurable and potentially major impact on the causes of poverty in the community or those areas of the community where poverty is a particularly acute problem, including, but not limited to:

(a) Providing activities designed to assist low-income persons, including elderly and handicapped low-income persons, to:

(i) Secure and maintain meaningful employment, training, work experience, and unsubsidized employment;

(ii) Attain an adequate education;

(iii) Make better use of available income;

(iv) Obtain and maintain adequate housing and a suitable living environment;

(v) Obtain emergency assistance through loans or grants to meet immediate and urgent individual and family needs, including the need for health services, nutritious food, housing, and employment-related assistance;

(vi) Remove obstacles and solve personal and family problems that block the achievement of self-sufficiency;

(vii) Achieve greater participation in the affairs of the community;

(viii) Undertake family planning, consistent with personal and family goals and religious and moral convictions; and

(ix) Obtain energy assistance, conservation, and weatherization services.

(b) Providing, on an emergency basis, supplies and services, nutritious foodstuffs, and related services necessary to counteract conditions of starvation and malnutrition among low-income persons;

(c) Coordinating and establishing links between government and other social services programs to assure the effective delivery of services to low-income individuals;

(d) Providing child care services, nutrition and health services, transportation services, alcoholism and narcotic addiction prevention and rehabilitation services, youth development services, and community services to elderly and handicapped persons; and

(e) Encouraging entities in the private sector to participate in efforts to ameliorate poverty in the community.

(2) Prepare and submit periodic program and fiscal reports, as required, to the office of community services at the following address: "Office of Community Services, Ohio Department of Development, P.O. Box 1001, Columbus, Ohio, 43216-1001." The required reports shall be submitted according to the instructions and schedule provided by the office of community services. Failure to comply with the reporting requirements may result in either the withholding of funds by the office of community services or the suspension or termination of operations. The office of community services shall provide all required report forms with instructions and forward them to all designated community action agencies. Required program and fiscal reports shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(a) A monthly "Fiscal and Financial Reimbursement Request";

(b) A quarterly "Progress Review Report"; and

(c) An "Annual Performance Report."

(3) Submit certification by a certified public accountant that the accounting system to be used is generally acceptable and in conformity with all federal and state guidelines.

(B) Persons at or below one hundred twenty-five per cent of the official poverty line shall be eligible for all services provided to program participants by designated community action agencies with C.S.B.G. program funds. For purposes of determining income eligibility for all activities funded in whole or part by C.S.B.G. program funds:

(1) "Income" shall include:

(a) Wages and salaries before deductions;

(b) Self-employment receipts and income less operating expenses and deductions;

(c) Social security benefits;

(d) Alimony and child support;

(e) Dividends and interest;

(f) Rents and royalties;

(g) Income from estates and trusts;

(h) Unemployment benefits;

(i) Workers' compensation;

(j) Strike benefits;

(k) Veterans' benefits;

(l) Training stipends;

(m) Government and private pensions; and

(n) Insurance benefits and annuities; but

(2) The following are excluded from income:

(a) Assets from bank withdrawals;

(b) Sales of property and exchanges of resources;

(c) Tax refunds and rebates;

(d) Gifts;

(e) One-time insurance payments;

(f) Lump-sum compensation for injury;

(g) Food stamps;

(h) Assistance payments from state political subdivisions and Indian tribes (i.e., aid to dependent children, general relief, adult emergency assistance, family emergency assistance);

(i) Resources from grants;

(j) Scholarships, fellowships, and educational loans;

(k) Work expenses of the blind;

(l) Handicapped income required for an approved program of self support; and

(m) Black lung disability payments.

(3) The period to be used in determining annual income must not be more than twelve months nor less than the ninety-day period preceding the request for assistance by the individual applicant;

(4) The income of all members of each family unit residing in the same residence must be included in determining the income eligibility; and

(5) Proof of income eligibility or self-declaration is required of all applicants applying for assistance as follows:

(a) When the applicant applies for any service provided by the C.S.B.G. provider, the applicant must sign a self-declaration statement indicating its annual income and the income of any other members of the family unit;

(b) The C.S.B.G. provider must make a reasonable number of spot checks of family units to verify income given in the self-declaration statements. In making the spot checks, the C.S.B.G. provider should contact appropriate sources, such as employers, local departments of human services, the social security administration, or other appropriate sources to obtain written documentation. This documentation should be attached to the self-declaration statement; and

(c) The self-declaration statement should contain a "Certification and Waiver of Privacy Rights" statement. The applicant shall be informed that the C.S.B.G. provider will check to verify the information on the self-declaration statement, and that by signing the "Certification and Waiver of Privacy Rights" statement the applicant authorizes the release of confidential information for income verification purposes.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/13/2003 and 11/13/2008

Promulgated Under: 119.03

Statutory Authority: 122.68(E)

Rule Amplifies: 122.68 , 122.69 , 122.70

Prior Effective Dates: 3/21/1985, 10/10/1984

122:5-2-04 Community action agency annual evaluation.

(A) Each board of directors of designated community action agencies shall annually conduct a self-evaluation of its policies and programs, using forms provided by the office of community services, according to the following criteria:

(1) Progress towards meeting the community action agency's goals and objectives as stated in its approved annual program plan;

(2) The impact of its activities upon the needs of low-income clients and the community;

(3) The appropriateness of its goals in carrying out the community action agency's mission; and

(4) The appropriateness of its objectives and strategies in meeting the community action agency's goals.

(B) The results of the evaluation, and recommendations for improved administration of the community action agencies, shall be submitted annually within sixty days of the program starting date, in the form of a report to the office of community services at the following address: "Office of Community Services, Ohio Department of Development, P.O. Box 1001, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1001."

(C) Local governments, social services' organizations, businesses and low-income persons shall be involved in the local evaluation process to provide broad community participation. Evidence of such participation shall be included in the community action agency's annual self-evaluation report.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/13/2003 and 11/13/2008

Promulgated Under: 119.03

Statutory Authority: 122.68(E)

Rule Amplifies: 122.68 , 122.69 , 122.70

Prior Effective Dates: 1/1/1985, 10/10/1984