Disabled Applicant Can Sue Housing Authority
Facts: A local housing authority told a low-income and disabled applicant who was trying to pre-qualify for a unit that he wasn't eligible for Section 8 housing because he had an unfavorable credit history and criminal background. The applicant filed a complaint in court for the violation of his due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. The applicant's history with the housing authority dates back to June 2008, but his lawsuit wasn't filed until April 2011.
The housing authority asked the court for a partial dismissal of the applicant's claims because the time limit to file a lawsuit had passed. The applicant then filed a response in opposition, attaching several pieces of correspondence from the housing authority.
Ruling: A Texas district court ruled that the time limit for filing a claim had not passed.
Reasoning: According to applicant's complaint, he was originally notified in September 2008, and then again in December 2008, that he wasn't eligible for Section 8 housing. In December 2008, the applicant requested a review and grievance hearing of the housing authority's determination. After apparently submitting supplemental information about some of the criminal charges against him, the applicant was then notified in June 2009 that his application wasn't approved because his credit report and background check didn't meet the screening criteria. The applicant again requested a grievance hearing with the housing authority.
In September 2009, the resident was again notified that because of his current criminal record he didn't meet the housing authority's screening criteria. After another criminal charge against him was dismissed, the applicant was again notified, by letter dated September 2009, of the housing authority's decision to defer acceptance of Section 8 assistance until the open criminal cases against him were disposed.
As a result, the court found that it wasn't until September 2009 that the applicant knew that the housing authority's finding of ineligibility was final. So the applicant showed that his claims didn't start until September 2009 and thus aren't time barred.
- Barfield v. Plano Housing Authority