Section 8 Resident Can't Sue HUD for Unit Conditions
Facts: A resident sued the City of New York and HUD, claiming that the condition of her unit and building deteriorated despite her repeated complaints. She claimed that the owner didn't comply with the Section 8 inspection requirements. Specifically, the resident described having to break a window to get into her unit because her doorknob was broken. She also claimed there was a conspiracy between other residents and site management regarding site conditions.
HUD asked the court to dismiss the case without a trial.
Ruling: The court ruled against the resident and dismissed the case.
Reasoning: The court noted that the resident's justification for suing HUD is that HUD subsidizes her rent for a unit in poor condition; therefore, HUD bears liability for failing to enforce her site owner's obligations under Section 8 of the Housing Act, especially with regard to inspection requirements.
However, the court reasoned, the Housing Act does not grant the resident a right to sue HUD over the poor quality of her Section 8 housing. In addition, the court points out, HUD regulations specifically bar a private right of action based upon an owner's compliance with Housing Quality Standards.
Therefore, the court concluded, the lawsuit against HUD should be dismissed.
- Montgomery v. City of New York, September 2010