Section 8 benefits provide a needed subsidy for the less fortunate and especially for those who are developmentally disabled. One such disabled adult came to Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. after his Section 8 benefits had been terminated by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (“HPD”). An investigator for HPD had claimed that the adult was not primarily residing in his apartment but rather in a cooperative apartment that he owned.
At a hearing before HPD, the adult and his mother tried to demonstrate to HPD’s satisfaction that the adult actually resided in his own apartment and that the cooperative apartment was owned by the mother. However, HPD appeared to already have its mind made up and the termination was upheld. For the adult, this was disastrous: due to his condition, he could not work and since he subsided on meager SSI benefits, he simply could not afford to remain in the apartment without the Section 8 subsidy.
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. took two steps to protect this individual. First, it commenced an article 78 proceeding to vacate and annul HPD’s determination. Even though the administrative record was not fully developed (given that the adult’s mother did most of the testifying), the firm was still able to demonstrate that numerous errors had been committed at the hearing.
Second, the firm conducted an investigation to establish that the inspector was either provided with bad information or did not testify truthfully at the hearing. As a result, the firm established to HPD’s satisfaction that the cooperative unit was owned by the mother, not the client.
In light of the arguments presented in the Article 78, and the firm’s own investigative findings, HPD had no choice but to settle the case by reinstating the client’s benefits retroactive to the termination date. However, as the settlement negotiations were ongoing, the adult had received a notice that his lease would not be renewed. Not understanding the significance of this, he did nothing. He also did nothing when served with a holdover petition.
Faced with a default, the firm intervened with HPD, the Housing Company and its counsel to resolve the situation. As a result, the holdover was discontinued. Jeffrey R. Metz represented the client in the Article 78 and ancillary proceedings before HPD. A legal intern, assisted.