PHA Didn't Give Resident Sufficient Notice
Facts: A local PHA knew that a resident was incarcerated at the county jail when it sent a letter to her home address notifying her that it was terminating her housing assistance payments. The resident completed her sentence, returned to her unit, and discovered the termination notice after the appeal deadline had passed.
The PHA denied her request for a hearing as untimely. The resident sued, claiming denial of due process, and asked the court to require that her housing assistance payments be continued while the lawsuit was pending.
Ruling: A Washington appeals court granted the resident's request.
Reasoning: The court granted her request because she was likely to prevail on the merits of her claim that the PHA violated her federal constitutional right to procedural due process by providing insufficient notice.
Knowing of the resident's incarceration, the PHA should have sent the termination notice to her at the county jail. The notice wasn't reasonably calculated under the circumstances to reach the resident in a timely manner.
Speelman v. Bellingham/Whatcom County Housing, April 2012