Resident Violated Section 8 Rules with Unauthorized Tenants and Improper Owner
Facts: A resident sued a local PHA for allegedly improperly terminating his Section 8 housing benefits. The resident was authorized to rent a two-bedroom unit, with one bedroom for himself and one bedroom for his adult daughter who was his authorized in-home services aide.
In June 2012, the PHA’s Section 8 advisor received a postal notice indicating that additional people were living at the residence. In mid- to late 2012, inspectors investigated and found evidence of multiple additional people living in the house. Inspectors found that the daughter maintained a separate address, but women’s and children’s clothing and personal belongings indicated that additional unauthorized tenants lived in the unit. The resident’s ex-wife and adult son were also at the unit and appeared to be living there. Further investigation revealed that the resident’s other daughter owned the unit, which is against Section 8 rules.
Investigators recommended that the resident’s Section 8 assistance be terminated due to “Tenant/Owner conspiracy, fraud, for failing to report unauthorized tenants and subleasing of a second residence on the property.” A hearing officer found that the resident failed to provide accurate information to the PHA, and that unauthorized tenants were living in the unit. His Section 8 housing benefits were terminated. The resident sued, and the court upheld the hearing officer’s ruling. The resident appealed.
Ruling: A California appeals court upheld the lower court’s decision.
Reasoning: The court found that substantial evidence supported the trial court’s findings that the resident’s daughter owned the unit in violation of Section 8 rules, and that multiple unauthorized tenants were living in the unit. The Section 8 program bars unit owners from renting to tenants who are related to them, except under particular circumstances. “The PHA must not approve a unit if the owner is the parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, sister, or brother of any member of the family, unless the PHA determines that approving the unit would provide reasonable accommodation for a family member who is a person with disabilities” [24 C.F.R. § 982.306(d)].
Three beds were in the resident’s bedroom, including a toddler bed. Women’s and children’s clothes and shoes were in the closets and in storage areas around the house. Personal care items for multiple people were found in the bathroom, including multiple adult toothbrushes, multiple children’s toothbrushes, children’s shampoo, children’s bath toys, a child’s bathrobe, multiple potty training seats, and hair grooming tools. In the kitchen, investigators found children’s cups, baby bottles, a child’s chair, a high chair, and children’s artwork on the refrigerator.
- Nasibian v. Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, April 2016