Discontinuing Section 8 Voucher Too Harsh a Penalty
Facts: A homeless family was declared eligible for a Section 8 housing voucher. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) later denied the family continuation of the voucher because they didn't provide access for a Housing Quality Standards inspection. The residents appealed HPD's decision, claiming that it was arbitrary and unreasonable.
Decision: The court ruled for the residents.
Reasoning: The head of the household, who was disabled, claimed that he missed the inspector's first visit by a few minutes. He claimed that household members were at home for a second inspection, but HPD argued that this inspection wasn't conducted by an HPD inspector. HPD didn't claim that the residents purposely refused access for inspection. The court found that, under the circumstances, HPD's penalty for a technical breach of its inspection rule was too severe. The case was sent back to HPD for a less drastic penalty and for rescheduling of an inspection.
- Dupont v. Donovan, November 2008