Applicant Can't Appeal PHA’s Decision
Facts: An applicant sued a local PHA for denying her application for low-income housing. The PHA had denied the application due to her prior conviction for involuntary manslaughter. Under the PHA’s stated admissions and occupancy policy, an applicant with a conviction for involuntary manslaughter is ineligible, and is denied participation in the program for life. The applicant appealed the denial, and the PHA held a grievance hearing. The hearing officer upheld the denial of her application. When she tried to appeal the decision in court, the judge dismissed her case on the basis that it lacked jurisdiction. She then appealed the trial court's decision.
Ruling: The Pennsylvania appeals court agreed with the lower court's decision.
Reasoning: The court ruled that there was a distinction between individuals making an application for public housing and those who already were public housing tenants who possess a property interest entitling them to due process protection or certain procedures before depriving them of housing. In other words, the applicant didn’t have a right to the low-income housing for which she applied, so she wasn’t entitled to an appeal or judicial review of her application.
- McKinley v. Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh, December 2012