Providing Applicant Information to Third Party
Q I have a potential applicant at my Section 202/8 site who is being informally represented by her sister. The helper-sister routinely handles most of the applicant's affairs and wants to sign application materials on her behalf. She would like to receive a copy of the notice when her sister is called from the waiting list. The helper-sister is afraid the applicant-sister will not understand the notice letter and miss her chance at admission. Am I allowed to send a notice to the applicant's sister? Does the applicant need to make a reasonable accommodation request for me to do it?
A According to affordable housing consultant and trainer Cindy Telfer, unless the helper-sister has power of attorney, she is not legally entitled to sign paperwork for the applicant. If the applicant requests a reasonable accommodation for the helper-sister to receive copies of correspondence, it would be acceptable for you to send copies of application and certification materials to the helper-sister. If you do, you should still always send the originals of all documents to the applicant or resident because she is still the one who has official standing with the owner, unless a power of attorney has been employed. To be aware of all privacy laws, Telfer recommends that you consult your attorney. There may be state or local requirements that also govern this situation.
Cindy Telfer: Owner, CCTelfer & Associates, LLC; (734) 260-5002; firstname.lastname@example.org.