Francis X. Servaites, 71, a retired official of the Department of Housing and Urban Development who was involved in public housing for more than 30 years, died Sunday at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville. He had leukemia.

Mr. Servaites was executive director of the National Capital Housing Authority in 1961, then served as deputy commissioner of the Federal Public Housing Authority from 1961 to 1968. He was named deputy director of counseling and services at HUD in 1970, and retired from the department three years later.

He began his career in public housing with the old Farm Security Administration in Ravenna, Ohio, in 1940. That organization sought housing for defense workers. He later worked for the Federal Public Housing Authority elsewhere in Ohio and in Michigan.

From 1949 to 1958, he was regional public housing director for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands with the authority, then came to Washington for a stint as executive vice president of the National Housing Conference, which lobbied for public housing and urban renewal. He worked there until joining the National Capital Housing Authority in January 1961.

Mr. Servaites was born in Dayton, Ohio. A 1929 graduate of the University of Dayton in public administration, he earned a master's degree at the University of Chicago. He was a teacher and social worker before beginning his career in housing.

He was a resident of Potomac and a member of St. Raphael's Catholic Church in Rockville.

Survivors include his wife, Jane C., of Potomac; two sons, John, of Washington, and Thomas, of Baton Rouge, La.; a daughter, Joan Matus of Rockville; two brothers, Joseph, of Dayton, and John, of Las Vegas, Nev.; three sisters, Helen Jacowski of New Port Richey, Fla., and Kate Zubrick and Ann Hauer, both of Dayton, and 11 grandchildren.