Resident Didn't Disclose Live-In Aide Owned Unit
Facts: A Minnesota resident received Section 8 housing assistance and additional benefits for a live-in aide, who also owned the unit in which they resided. On the application for assistance, the resident identified the live-in aide as a household member, but didn't disclose that she also owned the unit. When the housing authority learned that the live-in aide also was an owner, it threatened to terminate the assistance. The resident requested a hearing.
The hearing officer concluded that the resident violated federal regulations and housing authority policies by misrepresenting the fact that he had obtained Section 8 benefits while he was living in a unit occupied by an individual who was either the record owner of the unit or had an ownership interest in the unit—which made the resident ineligible to receive the benefits. The hearing officer also concluded that there was no legal basis upon which to grant the resident's “reasonable accommodation” request to allow him to continue receiving Section 8 benefits while living in an owner-occupied unit.
The housing authority terminated the resident's Section 8 benefits and required him to repay the Section 8 benefits it overpaid on his behalf. The resident appealed.
Decision: The court sided with the housing authority.
Reasoning: The resident argued that the housing authority abused its discretion by failing to consider mitigating circumstances in making its decision to terminate his Section 8 housing assistance. The court noted that while the housing authority could consider all relevant circumstances and determine whether any were mitigating, it did not abuse its discretion in this case. Thus, the court ruled, because the resident lied about the live-aide not being an owner, the housing authority acted properly in terminating his benefits.
- Welke v. Dakota County Community Development Agency, September 2010