Recent Court Rulings

Recent Court Rulings

Housing Authority Not Responsible for Private Owner's Actions

April 23, 2009    

Facts: A New York resident used a Housing Choice Voucher provided by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to subsidize his rent for a unit in a privately owned apartment building in the Bronx. The resident, who claims he is disabled and unable to walk up or down steps, went to...

Voucher Rejection Is Source-of-Income Discrimination

March 25, 2009    

Facts: Intending to sell its property, a Washington, D.C., owner stopped participating in the project-based Section 8 program after its HAP contract with HUD expired in 2004. Residents of the site received enhanced vouchers to remain in their units, but when they began offering these...

Federal Court Rejects Applicants' Disparate Impact Claim

March 25, 2009    

Facts: Seventeen Hasidic Jews who had applied for or lived in public housing operated by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) challenged NYCHA's Tenant Selection and Assignment Plan (TSAP) as discriminatory in its treatment of Hasidic applicants at three public housing...

Owners Get Borough to Halt Discriminatory Enforcement

March 25, 2009    

Facts: Two rental apartment companies sued the Borough of Magnolia, N.J., to stop the Borough from enforcing its property rental ordinances in a manner that infringed on their rights under the Fair Housing Act.

In 2007, the Borough enacted Ordinance 11A, entitled “An...

"Continuing" Fair Housing Violations Not Barred by Statute of Limitations

February 26, 2009    

Facts: Five fair housing organizations sued the builders and owners of 82 multifamily apartment complexes, alleging that the builders constructed the complexes in a manner that denied access to disabled persons, in violation of the Fair Housing Amendments Act. The builders and owners...

Damages Allowed for Midyear Section 8 Rent Adjustments

February 1, 2009    

Facts: A New Jersey public housing authority (PHA) and an owner of private housing sued the United States for breaching its obligations under a housing assistance payments (HAP) contract for a housing project. The PHA claimed that the federal government didn't provide rent increases...

Excluding Minors from SROs Promotes Legitimate Interest

February 1, 2009    

Facts: A New York City resident who occupied two single room occupancy (SRO) units with her minor children challenged a local ordinance prohibiting children under 16 from occupying SROs, arguing that the restriction violates the Fair Housing Act. She sued the City of New York on the...

Discontinuing Section 8 Voucher Too Harsh a Penalty

February 1, 2009    

Facts: A homeless family was declared eligible for a Section 8 housing voucher. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) later denied the family continuation of the voucher because they didn't provide access for a Housing Quality Standards inspection...

Rental Assistance Terminated After Sex Offender Fails to Register

February 1, 2009    

Facts: The Maine State Housing Authority (MSHA) discovered that one of its residents had been convicted of child molestation in Washington State in 1996, but was not registered as a sex offender, as the law requires. The resident had been receiving rental assistance through a voucher he...

Ohio Owner Not Liable for Failing to Prevent Discrimination

December 24, 2008    

Facts: After a resident at an Ohio assisted site had racially harassed another resident, the owner took no action. The harassed resident sued the site, claiming that the owner was responsible for allowing the harassment to continue. A lower court ruled that the owner could be sued for...

Owner Can Evict Resident for Chronic Late Rent Payments

December 24, 2008    

Facts: A resident of a Delaware assisted site paid her monthly rent late three times in one year. Claiming that chronic late payment was a lease violation, the Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) sought to evict her. A judicial panel ruled for the resident, stating that the lease...

Lapsed Insurance Policy Negated Flood Claim

December 24, 2008    

Facts: On April 28, 2005, an insurance company notified a Mississippi site owner that her policy had expired on April 25, but could be reinstated without any lapse in coverage if she paid the company $1,464 within 30 days. The owner did not pay on time. Instead, on Aug. 23, 2005, she...