CHAPTER 319yy

COMMUNITY ACTION AGENCIES

Table of Contents

Sec. 17b-885. (Formerly Sec. 17-635). Definitions.

Sec. 17b-886. (Formerly Sec. 17-636). Agency board.

Sec. 17b-887. (Formerly Sec. 17-637). Agency functions.

Sec. 17b-888. (Formerly Sec. 17-638). Agency funding. Transfer of funds; delegation of powers.

Sec. 17b-889. (Formerly Sec. 17-639). Program; community participation; agency priorities.

Sec. 17b-890. (Formerly Sec. 17-640). Program; participant objectives.

Sec. 17b-891. (Formerly Sec. 17-641). Delegation of administration of component projects by agencies; area representation.

Sec. 17b-892. (Formerly Sec. 17-642). Failure to comply with statutes; loss of designation to serve; assistance to establish new agency.

Sec. 17b-893. (Formerly Sec. 17-643). Financial assistance.

Sec. 17b-894. (Formerly Sec. 17-644). Representatives of community action agencies recognized as knowledgeable on issues affecting low income, elderly and handicapped persons. Compliance with civil rights laws.

Sec. 17b-895. (Formerly Sec. 17-645). Regulations.


Sec. 17b-885. (Formerly Sec. 17-635). Definitions. When used in sections 17b-885 to 17b-895, inclusive:

(a) “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Social Services;

(b) “Community action agency” means a public or private nonprofit agency which has previously been designated by and authorized to accept funds from the federal Community Services Administration for community action agencies under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 or a successor agency established pursuant to section 17b-892;

(c) “Community action program” means a community based and operated program which: (1) Includes or is designated 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 causes of poverty in the community or those areas of the community where poverty is a particularly acute problem; (2) organizes and combines its component projects and activities in a manner appropriate to carry out the provisions of sections 17b-885 to 17b-895, inclusive; and (3) conforms to any other criteria the commissioner may prescribe consistent with the provisions of said sections;

(d) “Community” means a municipality or a county, or any combination thereof, or a neighborhood or other area, irrespective of boundaries or political subdivisions, which provides a suitable organizational base and possesses the commonality of interest and need for a community action program.

(P.A. 82-84, S. 1, 12; P.A. 83-20, S. 1, 6; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87.)

History: P.A. 83-20 redefined “community action agency”, adding “a successor agency established pursuant to section 17-467” and deleting “a similar agency recognized as a community action agency by the commissioner”; Sec. 17-460 transferred to Sec. 17-635 in 1991; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17-635 transferred to Sec. 17b-885 in 1995.

Sec. 17b-886. (Formerly Sec. 17-636). Agency board. (a) Each community action agency shall administer its program through a community action board which shall consist of not more than fifty-one and not less than fifteen members and shall be so constituted that:

(1) One-third of the members of the board are elected public officials currently holding office, or their designees, 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;

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

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

(b) Each member of the board selected to represent a specific geographic area within a community shall reside in the area he represents.

(P.A. 82-84, S. 2, 12; P.A. 83-20, S. 2, 6; P.A. 00-158, S. 1, 3.)

History: P.A. 83-20 amended Subsec. (a) by changing from 18 to 15 the minimum number of members for the board; Sec. 17-461 transferred to Sec. 17-636 in 1991; Sec. 17-636 transferred to Sec. 17b-886 in 1995; P.A. 00-158 deleted provision in Subsec. (b) that had limited terms for certain board members, effective May 26, 2000.

Sec. 17b-887. (Formerly Sec. 17-637). Agency functions. The functions of a community action agency shall, subject to the provisions of sections 17b-885 to 17b-895, inclusive, and the approval of the Commissioner of Social Services, include, but not be limited to:

(1) Planning systematically for and evaluating the program, including actions to develop information as to the problems and causes of poverty in the community, to determine how much and how effectively assistance is being provided to deal with those problems and causes, and to establish priorities among projects, activities, and areas as needed for the best and most efficient use of resources;

(2) Encouraging agencies engaged in activities related to the community action program to plan for, secure and administer assistance available under sections 17b-885 to 17b-895, inclusive, or from other sources on a common or cooperative basis; providing planning or technical assistance to those agencies; and generally, in cooperation with community agencies and officials, undertaking actions to improve existing efforts to attack poverty, such as improving day to day communications, closing the service gaps, focusing resources on the most needy, and providing additional opportunities to low- income individuals for regular employment or participation in the programs or activities for which those community action agencies and officials are responsible;

(3) Initiating and sponsoring projects responsive to needs of the poor which are not otherwise being met, with particular emphasis on providing central or common services that can be drawn upon by a variety of related programs, developing new approaches or new types of services that can be incorporated into other programs, and filling gaps pending the expansion or modification of those programs; providing technical assistance and other support needed to enable the poor and neighborhood groups to secure on their own behalf available assistance from public and private sources; and

(4) Joining with and encouraging business, labor and other private groups and organizations to undertake, together with public officials and agencies, activities in support of the community action program which will result in the additional use of private resources and capabilities, with a view to such things as developing new employment opportunities, stimulating investment that will have a measurable impact in reducing poverty among residents of areas of concentrated poverty, and providing methods by which residents of those areas can work with private groups, firms and institutions in seeking solutions to problems of common concern.

(P.A. 82-84, S. 3, 12; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87.)

History: Sec. 17-462 transferred to Sec. 17-637 in 1991; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July l, 1993; Sec. 17-637 transferred to Sec. 17b-887 in 1995.

Sec. 17b-888. (Formerly Sec. 17-638). Agency funding. Transfer of funds; delegation of powers. A community action agency shall have authority to enter into contracts with private and public nonprofit agencies, to receive and administer funds received pursuant to sections 17b-885 to 17b-895, inclusive, to receive and administer funds and contributions from private and local public sources which may be used in support of a community action program, and to receive and administer funds under any federal or state assistance program pursuant to which a public or private nonprofit agency, organized in accordance with sections 17b-885 to 17b-895, inclusive, could act as grantee, contractor or sponsor of projects appropriate for inclusion in a community action program. Community action agencies and limited purpose agencies previously funded by the Community Services Administration, subject to federal law or regulation, shall be given first priority in the allocation of federal funds under the Community Services Block Grant Act or of any subsequent federal funds that were previously designated as Community Services Administration funds. Such funds shall be distributed through an agreement between the commissioner and the community action agencies. If such agreement is not reached by four weeks before the block grant plan is to be submitted to the General Assembly pursuant to section 4-28b, the Governor and the commissioner shall make the final decision on distribution. In the event the community services block grant is eliminated, each community action agency shall also be given due consideration, subject to the restrictions of applicable law or regulation, in the distribution of federal, state or municipal funds that are available to support antipoverty programs that have been administered by that agency on or after July 1, 1981. A community action agency, subject to the approval of its governing board, shall have authority to transfer funds received and to delegate powers to other agencies.

(P.A. 82-84, S. 4, 12; P.A. 83-20, S. 3, 6.)

History: P.A. 83-20 changed the process for the distribution of funds from a formula based on population to an agreement between the commissioner and the agencies and applied provisions to agencies previously funded by the Community Services Administration; Sec. 17-463 transferred to Sec. 17-638 in 1991; Sec. 17-638 transferred to Sec. 17b-888 in 1995.

Sec. 17b-889. (Formerly Sec. 17-639). Program; community participation; agency priorities. Each community action agency shall establish procedures to assure maximum feasible participation of neighborhood-based organizations, residents of the community and members of the groups served to assist such agency in prioritizing, planning, conducting and evaluating components of the community action program. Agency priorities established under this section shall not be modified without substantial documentation of changed circumstances and, when practicable, the approval of the parties involved in setting those priorities.

(P.A. 82-84, S. 5, 12.)

History: Sec. 17-464 transferred to Sec. 17-639 in 1991; Sec. 17-639 transferred to Sec. 17b-889 in 1995.

Sec. 17b-890. (Formerly Sec. 17-640). Program; participant objectives. The priorities of a community action program may include, but not be limited to, component projects designed to assist participants including the elderly poor, in attaining the following objectives:

(1) To secure and retain meaningful employment;

(2) To obtain adequate education;

(3) To provide for education and care of young children;

(4) To make better use of available income;

(5) To provide and maintain adequate housing and a suitable living environment;

(6) To provide information and education on, and access to healthful nutrition;

(7) To obtain services for the prevention of and rehabilitation from drug abuse and alcoholism;

(8) To obtain emergency assistance to meet immediate and urgent individual and family needs, including the need for health services, nutritious food, housing, energy and unemployment-related assistance;

(9) To remove obstacles and solve personal and family problems which block the achievement of self-sufficiency;

(10) To achieve greater participation in the affairs of the community;

(11) To make more frequent and effective use of other programs related to the purposes of sections 17b-885 to 17b-895, inclusive;

(12) To stimulate and take full advantage of capabilities for self-advancement; and

(13) To designate violence-free zones in accordance with the federal Community Services Block Grant Program, 42 USC 9908, for the purpose of addressing the needs of youths through programs that support the primary role of the family, give priority to the prevention of youth problems and crime, and promote increased community coordination and collaboration. As used in this subdivision, “violence-free zone” means a geographic area within a targeted investment community, as defined in section 32-222, that has chronically high levels of crime, violence, unemployment, family dissolution and juvenile delinquency and a low rate of home ownership.

(P.A. 82-84, S. 6, 12; P.A. 00-158, S. 2, 3; P.A. 06-196, S. 144.)

History: Sec. 17-465 transferred to Sec. 17-640 in 1991; Sec. 17-640 transferred to Sec. 17b-890 in 1995; P.A. 00-158 added Subdiv. (13) re designation of violence-free zones, effective May 26, 2000; P.A. 06-196 made technical changes in Subdiv. (13), effective June 7, 2006.

Sec. 17b-891. (Formerly Sec. 17-641). Delegation of administration of component projects by agencies; area representation. Where consistent with sound and efficient management and subject to federal law and regulations and the regulations adopted pursuant to section 17b-895, a community action agency may delegate the administration of component projects to other agencies. When a community action agency places responsibility for major policy determinations with respect to the character, funding, extent and administration of and budgeting for programs to be carried on in a particular geographic area within the community in a subsidiary board, council, or similar agency, such board, council or agency shall be broadly representative of such area.

(P.A. 82-84, S. 7, 12.)

History: Sec. 17-466 transferred to Sec. 17-641 in 1991; Sec. 17-641 transferred to Sec. 17b-891 in 1995.

Sec. 17b-892. (Formerly Sec. 17-642). Failure to comply with statutes; loss of designation to serve; assistance to establish new agency. A community action agency shall lose its designation to serve a political subdivision, or a group of political subdivisions, only if the commissioner finds after adequate notice, a written statement of reasons and a fair hearing held in the community served by the agency that such agency has materially failed to comply with sections 17b-885 to 17b-895, inclusive. In such case, the commissioner may provide financial assistance to other public or private nonprofit agencies to aid them in establishing a community action agency in the area no longer served.

(P.A. 82-84, S. 8, 12; P.A. 83-20, S. 4, 6.)

History: P.A. 83-20 authorized financial assistance to establish an agency in the area no longer served; Sec. 17-467 transferred to Sec. 17-642 in 1991; Sec. 17-642 transferred to Sec. 17b-892 in 1995.

Sec. 17b-893. (Formerly Sec. 17-643). Financial assistance. The commissioner may provide financial assistance to community action agencies for planning, conducting, administering and evaluating community action programs and component projects.

(P.A. 82-84, S. 9, 12; P.A. 83-20, S. 5, 6.)

History: P.A. 83-20 deleted former Subsec. (a) re provision of assistance to establish a new agency in an area not previously served; Sec. 17-468 transferred to Sec. 17-643 in 1991; Sec. 17-643 transferred to Sec. 17b-893 in 1995.

Sec. 17b-894. (Formerly Sec. 17-644). Representatives of community action agencies recognized as knowledgeable on issues affecting low income, elderly and handicapped persons. Compliance with civil rights laws. (a) Representatives of community action agencies shall be recognized as knowledgeable on issues affecting low income, elderly and handicapped citizens for the purposes of sharing information with governmental bodies considering such issues.

(b) All community action agencies, other agencies, contractors and boards thereof included in the provisions of sections 17b-885 to 17b-895, inclusive, shall comply with federal, state and local civil rights laws.

(P.A. 82-84, S. 10, 12.)

History: Sec. 17-469 transferred to Sec. 17-644 in 1991; Sec. 17-644 transferred to Sec. 17b-894 in 1995.

Sec. 17b-895. (Formerly Sec. 17-645). Regulations. On or before October 1, 1982, the Commissioner of Social Services shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to implement sections 17b-885 to 17b-894, inclusive.

(P.A. 82-84, S. 11, 12; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87.)

History: Sec. 17-470 transferred to Sec. 17-645 in 1991; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17-645 transferred to Sec. 17b-895 in 1995.