Text Item Type Metadata
BILL OF RIGHTS
PUBLIC HOUSING TRRANTS
Sec. 1. The Authority's application forms shall seek only such
information as is pertinent, including the size of the household
unit, the income of that household unit and the need of that unix
fox public housing. Questions concerning the iegal standing
or the marital status of members of the family, the legitimacy
of the children in the family, the police record of members
of the family and other such information, including race or
religion, shall not appear on the application form, or be asked
by any Authority employee.
Sec. 2. Once the application form has been completed, an
applicant shail be given a number which indicates his chronologi
cal place on the waiting list for the size apartment necessary
for his family, unless on the face of the application the family
is ineligible because of excess income or is ineligible because
the applicant lives in decent housing and pays a rent he can
Sec. 3. For the purpose of determining initial eligibility,
all statements made on the application are presumed to be true.
The Authority may verify income by communicating with an
applicant's employers, with the Department of Family and
Children's Services, or with other income sources,
fa) If the Authority determines that
despite the statement given on the
application form the person or family
is ineligible for public housing because
of excess income or no need, the family
must be notified in writing within 30 days
following the date of the application of
their ineligibility and the detailed reasons for it.
tf the household unit is held to be ineligible and
wishes to challenge this determination, a hearing
shall be afforded. This hearing shall comply with
the provisions of Part III hereof.
An applicant who demands a hearing may not be removed
from the waiting list until the Hearing Panel determines
the question of eligibility.
Any applicant not notified that he is ineligible within
30 days after the date of the application is deemed to
be eligible, and thereafter the Authority may not
challenge his eligibility unless there is a substantial
change in the income of the family or the composition
of the household unit, or the Authority can demonstrate
that the applicant has moved to decent housing at a
rent he can afford.
Sec. 4. Applicants shall be processed in strict chronological
order and no priority shall be given except those required by
Federal statutes and regulations adopted thereunder.
Sec. 5. The Authority shall make available for inspection at
reasonable times and places the rent schedule in effect at all
projects under its administration and the number of apartments
available in each project broken down by the size of avartment.
The Authority shall also make available for inspection the
general schedule of maximum income which will permit persons to
be eligible for admission to its projects. The Authority shall
make available fer public inspection the waiting list of
Sec. 6. When an applicant has been notified that he is
eligible and that an apartment is availiable, he shall he
permitted 30 days within which to accept or reject the
RIGHTS OF TENANTS IN PUBLIC HOUSING
Sec. 1. The lease shall be written in clear concise language
able to be understood by laymen of average intelligence.
Sec. 2. The signed lease does not in any way subtract from
any rights of the tenant under the United States Constitution,
Federal and State statutes, case law or regulations promul-
gated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Sec. 3. No lease, regulation or other written or oral
agreement shall permit the termination of a tenancy on
grounds other than the following:
(a) non-payment of rent;
(b) commission of active waste (physical
destruction) of the leased premises by
(e) tenant is over=income as determined by
the Housing Authority; except that eviction
shall not be permitted if eviction would
work extreme hardship on the family unit;
(d) substantial interference with other tenants;
(e) failure of resident to provide the Authority
with income statement within 30 days from
date of request.
Sea. 4. The Authority shali not interfere directly or
indirectly with the right of its tenants to free speech,
to organize or to seek redress of grievances. No tenant
shall be evicted or otherwise penalized for engaging in
Sec. 5. The Authority shall not interfere with the right
of its tenants to quiet enjoyment of the premises, nor
shall the Authority infringe upon its tenants' right to
privacy. The Authority shall not enter the premises rented
by a tenant without the tenant's express permission, except
in case of emergency.
Sec. 6. Rent is defined as that sum of money expressly
provided for in the lease between the tenant and the
Authority. The Authority is forbidden to levy any fines,
fees, or other financial sanctions upon tenants. The cost
of repairs shall be charged to a tenant only if the damage
was caused by the tenant's negligence, and such cost of
repairs shall be collectible only by a separate civil action.
The Authority may not evict a tenant for failure to pay a
damace charge. The tenant shall not be responsible for
ordinary wear and tear.
Sec. 7. Where repairs are deemed necessary by a tenant, the
tenant or a tenant organization shall have the right to
submit a written or oral complaint to the Authority. If the
complaint is oral, the responsible official of the Authority
shall reduce thatcompiaint to writing. If the needed repairs
do not create an emergency (i.e., pose a threat to the
tenant's safety or health) the Authority shall have 30 days
in which to consider the complaint and take appropriate
action; provided that repairs to gas and electrical appliances
a0 equipment and locks on outside doors must be made within
wF hours of the complaint. If the Authority fails to act
within 36 hours on an emergency complaint, the tenant may
contract privately to have repairs made which will eliminate
the emergency conditions. The tenant may reduce his rent
by the cost of repairs made to insure his health and safety.
Sec. 8. Where repairs are deemed necessary by the Authority,
the tenant may make repairs at his own expense.
Sec. 9. The Hearing Panel may invite the City housing
inspectors to inspect Authority premises in order to
determine the existence of housing Code violations.
The Authority hereby waives any immunity it may otherwise
possess with respect to the action of the City's housing
Sec. 10. Overall responsibility for rodent control and
maintenance of lawns, hallways, staircases and other common
areas of the Project shall rest in the Authority. It shall
bear all expenses for materials and labor and shall replace
tenants' garbage receptacles in need of same. Where regular
garbage collection is insufficient to control infestation,
additional collections shall be made at the expense of the
Sec. ll. The graded rent system, whereby a tenant is
charged a rental which accords with his income, shall be
applied uniformly. Rent shall be calculated on the basis
of actual income, and not possible, presumed or potential
income. Income earned by a minor child shall not be
considered as part of the parent's income unless the
actually contributes to the household expenses.
Sec. 12. Rent shall be redetermined no more often than
once a year, with the exception of "hardship rent."
Where, during the course of a tenancy, a tenant undergoes
a serious reduction in income, rent shall be reduced
immediately. Such “hardship rent" shall then continue
until the next annual redetermination, with the obligation
upon the tenant to report any restoration of original
income level during this period.
Sec. 13. In any redetermination of income, temporary
income shall not be projected on an annual basis, unless
tenant's prior work history clearly indicates a pattern
of maintaining temporary jobs on a continuous basis.
Children of the head of the household who are under the
age of 21 shall not be adjudged to be income-producing
unless the Housing Authority has actual evidence of
Sec. 14. Only a substantial increase or decrease in
family income shall bring redetermination procedures into
operation. Such amount shall be no less than $400,
computed on an annual basis, or other basis if work is
Sec. 15. Decreases in rent shall be retroactive to the
beginning of the rent determination period. Increases
in rent shall not be retroactive except in cases where
the Hearing Panel finds that the tenant willfully concealed
Sec. 16. Any disputes regarding redetermination shall be
submitted to the Hearing Panel or other arbitration body.
The "reduced rent" concept, by which the tenant agrees
in advance to be bound by any increases (up to maximum
rent), shall be eliminated.
THE RIGHT TO AN ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING AND DUE PROCESS
Sec. 1. The Authority shall adopt and promulgate
regulations establishing policies for occupancy in public
housing. The regulations shall give full consideration
to the right of tenants and rejected applicants to due
process of law. Said regulations, which shall he
incorporated in all leases executed by the Authority,
shall be posted on all bulletin boards within the
Project, and shall provide at least the following
Every notice of eviction or other sanction
against a tenant and every rejection of a
tenant's application shall be typewritten,
signed by an official of the agency, and
mailed in a postage prepaid envelope addressed
to the tenant's apartment of residence in the
project, or, in the case of applicants, the
address furnished with the application by
registered mail, return receipt requested.
The notice shall advise the tenant or applicant
of his right to a hearing on the action taken.
The notice shail further advise the tenant or
applicant in clear and precise language of
the specific grounds for the action taken,
(c) The notice shall further advise the
tenant of his right to he represented
by legal counsel (including the address of
the it6cal. Legal Aid office) or by any other
person of his choosing at the hearing;
his right to demand that the Authority
produce at the hearing any employee
whose testimony is alleged relevant.
A copy of the rules governing the conduct
of hearings shall be attached to the
(d) Every such notice shall issue within 5
days of a final decision by the Authority
on the application, eviction or complaint.
Sec. 5. Hearing Officers
a) Hearings shall be conducted before a panel
of three officers: one officer to be designated by the
Authority; one officer to be designated by the tenants
of the project; and one officer to represent the public,
to be designated by agreement of the other officers.
b) The representative of the tenants shall be
elected by secret written ballot. At least three weeks'
notice shall be given prior to each annual election
(except in the case of an election to replace a representative
for an unexpired term, in which case ten days' notice shall
suffice.) The Authority shall provide a convenient polling
place, and establish convenient hours for balloting.
No employee of the Authority shall be present at the polling
place. Necessary supervision of the polling place shall be
conducted by a committee of persons appointed by the out-
going hearing officers.
Tenanta shall be allowed to file a written
sealed ballot up to a period of 48 hours preceding the
c) All officers shall act in their respective
capacities for one year terms. Elections shall be held
on a date exactly one year after the original election
unless otherwise agreed to by majority vote of the
tenants. In the event of resignation or disability to
serve, the successor representatives shall be designated
within ten days of the effective date of said resignation
or disability, to serve as officers for the balance of
the respective one year terms. An interim tenants'
representative shall be elected in the manner prescribed
in sub-paragraph (b).
ad) All officers shall be compensated out of the
Authority's funds at the rate of twenty-five dollars
for each day of hearing service, or substantial portion
e) Each sar iné officer shall serve for one month
as Chairman of the Hearing Panel. At the end of each
calendar month, the Chairmanship shall pass to a different
officer. Each officer shall serve four months during
each year as Chairman.
Sec. 6. Jurisdiction of the Hearing Panel
a) The panel shall have jurisdiction to decide issues
relating to evictions or other sanctions sought to be
imposed by the Authority; rent determinations; and complaints
by tenants against mamagement personnel but not against other
tenants (unless such complaints against other tenants are
considered as part of an eviction action under Secticn I (d)
of Part II of this Bill of Rights).
b) The panel shall determine whether the action
taken by management conflicts with the Housing Act, the
regulations of the Housing Assistance Administration, or
the local Authority. If the panel determines that a
conflict exists, it shall order the Authority to dismiss
the notice of eviction, or order any other necessary and
In the event that the matter of issue does not
conflict with a specific provision of the statute or
the regulations, the panel shall decide the case, in an
equitable manner, with the object of effectuating the
humane intent and purposes of the Housing Act of 1937, as
Sec. 7. Conduct of Hearing
a) Rights of Parties. In any hearing held pursuant
to this Section, any party shall have the right to appear,
to be represented by counsel or other person of his
choosing; to call, examine, and cross-examine witnesses;
to introduce into the record documentary or other evidence;
and to present an opening statement and closing argument.
b) Burden of Proof. In any hearing involving an
eviction, rent determination or charges for damage to
property, the burden of proof shall he on the Housing
Authority to support its position by a fair preponderance
of the evidence. In a hearing involving any other issue
the same burden of proof shall be on the party requesting
the hearing. The party having the burden of proof shall
present its case first.
Sec. 8. Hearing Optional
a) The hearing vrocedure provided herein shall be
deemed to be optional with the tenant or applicant. The
tenant or applicant shall have the right to refuse a hearing
before the Hearing Panel and to seek in the first instance
evueh ralief ec is avaitehia From the aourts.
b) The hearing procedure provided herein chall be
deemed to be mandatory on the Housing Authority. The
Authority must utilize the hearing procedure in the first
instance and may only seek judicial review of decisions of
the hearing panel.
TENANT ASSOCIATIONS _
Sec. 1. The local agency shall allow free access to
Community Centers in the various projects for any purpose,
provided that 5 tenants request permission to use the Centes.
Sec. 2. Management involvement in the formation and
operation of the tenant associations shall not be encouraged,
and management representatives may attend tenant association
meetings only by invitation of a majority of the association
Sec. 3. The extent of management involvement in the tenant
association is a proper subject for review by the Hearing
TENANT PARTICIPATION IN MANAGEMENT
Sec. 1. Each project tenant association shall elect one
representative to meet with the Authority, for the purpose
of advising the Authority as to the needs of public housing
tenants, This advice shall include, but not be limited to,
plans for new construction, plans fer modernization and
heautification, decisions on rent collections, maintenance
policies, social services, police relations and pest control.
Sec. 2. Tenant participation in management requires among
other things, that the manager be a full-time resident of