Box 3, Folder 3, Document 5

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Box 3, Folder 3, Document 5

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BILL OF RIGHTS
FOR
PUBLIC HOUSING TENANTS
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1.
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~I.
RIGHTS OF APPLICANTS FOR PUBLIC HOUSING
Sec lo The local agency shall use application forms
which provid~ o1i!_y : - such information as is pertinent to / the size of the household unit, the income of that
\ household unit and the need of that unit for public
housing . Questions concerning the legal stan~ing of
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 infor mation, including race or religion are specially pro hibited from appearing on the application formo
Any otlE r criteria. beside income and family size whic h
is utilized in d~terming eligibility by the housing
authority must be submitted to the Department of Hous i ng
and Urban Development for approvalo
0
Seco 2o Once the application .form has been comp leted,
the a ppl i cant must be g i ven a nwnber which i ndi cates
his chr ono l ogical place on t he wa i t i ng l is t f or the size
apartmen t necessary for his f amily unles s on the face of
t he appl i c a tion the family is by t he publ is hed standards
ine l igible be cause of exce ss i ncqme or on the face of
the a pp lica t i on t he r e i s shO\-n.1 no demons trab le need for
public housing (i. eo , t hat t he f amily lives i.n decent
housing and pays a ren t it can afford). For this initial
det ermination, all statements made on the application ar~
deemed t o be trueo
Seco 3o For the purpos e of determining initial eligibility or inelig i bility, all statements made on the
application are pres umed to be trueo If the local
authority believes that some or all of the statements
are untrue, the authority may conduct an investigation
after the initial determinatton of eiigibiiity has been

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made and the person given his chronological place
on the waiting listo It is the sole responsibility
of the housing authority to collect all information
available in public records. The applicant may authorize the authority to collect relevant data not available in public records· from persons other than the
·
applicant. No negative inference shall be drawn from _the failure of individuals other than the applicant
himself to cooperate with the housing authority
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(a)
If the _;Local authority -determines tha1:
despite the statement given on the application
form·the person or family are ineligible for public housing because of excess income or no
need, the family must be notified in writing
within 3Q days following the date of the
application of their ineligibility and the
detailed reasons for it. If the household
unit is held to be ineligible and wishes to
challenge this determination , a hear ing shall
be afforded . This he a r ing s ha l l comply with
t he provisions of Part I I Io 1 Howe ver, during
t he time that such proc edure s are being
utilized and until a dec is i on upon the hearing,
t he person shall cont inue t o b e listed as
el igible and ·s ha l l rema in on t he waiting lis t
in t he chrono l ogica} order based on the original
number g iven t o t he familyo
(b )
Any a pplicant not notified that he is ineligible
wit hi n 30 days after the date of the application i s deemed t o b e eligible and thereafter
the hous ing authority may not challenge his
eligib i l ity unles s there is a sub s tantial
change in the income of the family or the
composit ion of the household unit as it relates
to inc ome, or the housing authority can demonstrate there is no longer a need for public
housing (ioeo, the applicant has moved to
decent housing at a rent he can afford) or
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the authority can demonstrate fraud on the
part of the applicant in providing eligibility
informationo
Seco 4o Applicants shall be processed in strict
chronological order and no priority shall be given
ex_':e_p_t for:
(a)
persons who are forced to relocate as a
result of a comprehensive urban renewal
program which includes _demolition of ~he
premises in which the persons reside or in
the event that they are forced to relocate
as a result of the Public Hous ing Aut hority
having acquired the pr emis e s in which they
reside and said premises arc to be demolished
so that public housing projects can be built
on that site 9
(b)
pers ons who demonstra te~
of nee d
(io e o, elderly individuals, l arge f amilies,
those who are destitute) .
Se c o So The local agency must mak e avai l able f or
inspection at reas onable t i mes and places the rent
schedul e in effect at all proj e c ts adminis terecl by
that agenc y , and the number Qf apartments available
i n each proj ect br oken down by t he size of apartmcnto
The lo cal authority must als o make avai lable f or
inspection the general schedule of maximum income
based on family size which will permit persons to be
eligible for admissio~ t o its projectso The authority
must ~ls o make available f or public inspection the
waiting list of app l i c antso
Seco 60 When an applicant has been notified that he
is eligible and that an apartment is available, he
may challenge the housing authority's determination
of rent through hearing proceedings outlined in
Part Illo No leas e shall extend f or a period of less
than 1 ye ar durationo
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RIGHTS OF TENANTS IN PU~LIC HOUSING
Sec 0 1 0 The lease shall be written in clear concise
language able to be understood .. by laymen of average intelligence. Where required, the lease shall be written in the
applicants native language· if said applicant does not speak
Englishc
Secc 20 The signed lease does not in any way derogate the
rights of the tenant and the authority as declare d and
guaranteed by the United States Constitution, fede5al and
state statutes, decisional law and regulations promulgated
by the Dep artment of Housing and Urban Deve lopment
0
Sec . 30 No lease, regulation or other ·written or oral
agreement sha ll permit the termination of a tenancy on
groubds other than the_ following:
(a)
chronic non- payment of rent after efforts have
been made to develop a sche dule of rent payments
throughout the r e nt period which the tenant
could mee t;
(b)
commission of active waste (phys ical destruction)
of the leased premises by t enant;
(c)
tenant in over-income as, de;ermined by the Housing
Au thority except where eviction would work extreme
hardship on the family unit;
(d)
substantial interference with other tenants in
such a manner as ·to materially diminish their
enjoyment of the premises; substantial interference
must relate to actual conduct of the tenant and
not to such matters as are specifically prohibited
from appearing on the applications of prospective
tenants by Section 7 of Part I of this Bill of
Rights; issues arising from a proposed tenancy
shall be submitted to the Hearing Panel and no
evic tion shall apply except to the individual
offender unless he is the head of the family unit
and no other responsible individual is a member
of the family unite
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failure of resident to provide the Housing
Authority with income statement within 60 days
from date of request.
Seco 4o No local housing authcirity shall 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
such c1ctivity o
Seco So No local housing authority shall interfere with
the right of its tenants to quiet enjoyment of the... premises
they rented 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 for an annual inspection or in
an emergenc yo
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Seco 60 Rent is defined as that sum of mone y expressly
provid e d for in the lease b e tween the tenant and the housing authority as consideration for housing provided to the
· tena11to No local hous ing authority shall levy any fines,
fees, or o the r financial sanctions upon tenantso The cost
of repairs shall be charged to a tenant only if the Hearing
Panel determines it was caused by the tenant's own malicious
or r~ckless ac t and s uch cost o f re pairs s ha ll be collec tible
only by a separate civil actiono
Seco lo Tenant s s hall be cha rgeable for repairs only when
management can affirmative ly e stablish fault on the part of
the tc n,:rn t. The tonant shall not b e rcsponslbll' for
ordina,~y \vc·ar an<.l u~..1.r, or for negligence (except gross
negligc,nce ) o Any det ermina tion of faul t shall be subject
to review by t he Hear ing Panelo
Seco 80 Where repairs are deemed necess ary, a tenant or
tenant organjzation shal l have the right to submit a
\\-rritten or oral complaint to the local housing authority
I[ i...i1e cu1 11!Jla.i.11i., .i.s oi:ctl, Ll1e responsible official of the
authority shall reduce that complaint to writing on an
appropria te form~ If the needed repairs are not of an
immediate 11.:1.turc or do not create an emerge ncy situation,
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the authority shall have 30 days in which to consider the
complaint and take appropriate actiono If no action is
' t aken by the authority within that time, the complaint ·
shall automatically be consid~_red by the Hearing Panel .
I f the repairs are needed immediately, the authority must
act within 48 hourso If the authority fails to act, the
.tenant may contract privately to have repairs made which
will eliminate the emergency conditions (ioeo, those
necessary to eliminate dangers to health and safety)o
.The tenant ' s action shall be reviewed by the Hearing Panelo
.,
Sec 0 9 0 If the Hearing Panel determines that the comp l aint
i s val i d, the tenant shall have the option of withhold i ng
r ent to the e xt ent ·of rent - impairment de t er mine d by t he
Panel , or to make repairs at his own expense and reduce t he
rent pro tantoo The Hearing Panel shall have the addit i onal
authority to invite loc_a l housing · inspection unit to i nspect
subj e c t pre mises in order to de termine e x is tence of housing
violat i on or v iolations and the housing a uthority s hall
wa ive any immunit y i t may ot herwis e possess with res pec t to
the a c t ion of such insp ection unito
Sec l Oo· Overall r e s pons i bility f or r odent c ontrol and
maintenance of hallways, stairc as es and other common areas
of the Project shall rest in t he Authorityo It shall bear
·all expenses f or material s and labor and shall- replace
tenants' garbage r e c e ptac les i n ~e ed ~f sameo Where regular
garbage collection is ins uffic ient t o control infestation,
additional collections shall be made at the expense of the
Authorityo
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Seco llo The graded rent system, whereby a tenant is
charge d a rental which accords with his income , shall be
applie d uniformly.
Seco 120 Rent shall be redetermined no more often than
once a year, preferab ly once every 2 years, with the
exception of "hardship rent"" Where, during the course of
a tenancy, a tenant undergoes a serious reduction in income
and thereby qualifies for the hardship rent, rent shall be
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modified downward immediatelyo Such hardship rent shall
then continue until the next annual or biannual redetermi na- · .·
<tion, with the obligation upon the tenant to report any
restoration of original income.level during this periodo
Seco 130 In any redetermination of income, temporary
income shall not -be projected on an annual basis , unless
tenant's prior work history clearly indicates a patter n of · .
maintaining temporary jobs on a continuous basis .
Seco 140 Only a substantial "incre~se or decrease.!' in
family income shall bring redetermination procedures into
operation (and require reporting by tenant)o Such amount
shall be no less than $400, computed on an annual basis,
or other basis if work is temporaryo This same principle
is to be followed in the case of decrease
0
Seco 15 . Decreases in rent shall be retroactive to the
begi nning of the r ent determinat i on per iodo · I ncreas e s in
rent s ha ll not be re t r oactive except i n case s where the
Authority can pr ove beyond a r easonable doub t t hat the
tenant willfully concealed i nf ormat ion. Such a determination shal l be made by t he Hearing Panelo
Seco 160 Any dispute s r egarding redeterminatio~ shall be
submitted t o the Hearing Panel or otper arbitration bodyo
The "re duced rent" concept, by wqich' the tenant agrees in
advance t o be bound by any increas es (up t o maximum rent),
shall be eliminated o
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III.
Tl-IE RIGHT TO AN ADMINISTRATIVE
HEL\RING AND DUE PROCESS
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Seco lo The local agency shall adopt and promulgate
· regulations establishing policies for occupancy or continued
occupancy which shall give full .. consideration to the right
of tenants or applicants rejected for tenancy in low-rent
housing projects _to due process of lawo Said regulations,
which shall be incorporated in all leases executed by
tE!nants at or before the commencement of occupancy and shall
be posted on all bulletin boards accessible to the tenants
or to the public within the project, shall provide... at least
the minimum protections hereinafter set forth.
Seco 2.
I
Notices
(a)
Every notice of eviction or other sanction against
tenants or refusal to take action on the complaints
of tenants or ·of rejection of applications 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 re quested .
(b)
The notic e shall advise the tenant, or applicant
of the time and place of a hearing on the grounds
for the action taken~ t~ be held on a date no
less than 10 -days after receipt by the tenant or
applicant of the notice, and, if feasible, during
the evening hourso The notice shall further
advise the tenant or applicant in clear and precise
language of the specific grounds for the action
taken
Where the local agency has reason to
believe that the tenant or applicant if, Spanish
speaking, the notice and all of its contents shall
be in Spanish as well as Englisho
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(c)
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The notice shall further advise the tenant of:
his right to be represented by legal counsel
(including the address of the local legal services,
legal aid, or other office where such assistance
can be obtained) or any other person of his
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choosing at the hearing; his right to examine
all the written evidence to be used by the local
agency against him (at the hearing) prior to and
during the hearing, or a~ any reasonable time
after the hearing; his right to other discovery
as hereinafter set forth; his right to crossexamine :hostile witnesses and to bring his own
witnesses; his right to demand that the local
agency produce at the hearing any employee whose
testimony is alleged relevanto A copy of the
rules governing the conduct of hearings s.hall be
attached to the Noticeo
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(d)
Every such notice of hearing shall issue wi thi n 5
days of a final decision by the agency on the
application, eviction or complaint, which final
decision in the case of applications and complaints
shall be made ·within 10 days after presentation
by the applicant or tenant of the appl i cati on or
compla into In the ev ent t he agency fai ls t o comply
with the provisions herein, the tenant or a pplic ant
may r equest a hearing unilaterally i n a l e tter to
·the hear i ng pane l s t ating t he circumstances of the
re quest and , unles s t he re quest i s fr i v olous on
its face, t he panel sha l l i t se l f schedule a hearing
t o be held o
Seco 3o Ans wer t o the Not i ce
The tenant or applicant s hall acknowledge in writing, or in
person, receipt of the notice and his willingness to
participa t e in a hear ing on the scheduled date , within 5
da ys of receipt of the notice . If the ten ant or a pp licant
does n ot so acknowledge, and no reasonable e xcuse is shown ,
the hear ing shal l be cancele d and the matter t e r minat edo
'!he agency s ha ll give c onsideration t o reasonable re ques ts
for postponements of hear ing dateso
Seco 4.
Pla_E~ ~of Hea.ri~
Hearings under t his paragraph s hall be conducted, to the
extent feasible, in a well-lighted, confortable room in
the project containing ample space and chairs for the.
parties and for other interested personso
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Sec
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So
Hearing Officers
a) Hearings shall be conducted before a panel
of three officers; one officer to be designated by the agency,
who shall not be an employee of the agency; 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 officerso
b) The representative of the tenants on~the
hearing panel shall be elected by majority vote of the
tenants at a meeting initially called for that purpose within the project on at least ten days notice, published on all
bulletin boards, by officers of the tenants' associationo
c) All officers · shall act in their respective
capacities for one year terms to conclude on the same date
~ach yearo After the initial designation of the tenants'
representative, subsequent elections shall be held on a date
exactly one year after the original election unless otherwise
agreed to by majority vote of the tenantso In the event of
resignation or disability to serve, the successor representatives
shall be designated within five days of the effective date of
said resignation or disability, to serve as officers for the
balance of the respective one year termso An interim tenants'
representative shall be elected in th~ manner prescribed in

subparagraph (b)o
d) All officers shall be compensated out of the
agency 's f unds at the rate of twenty-five dollars for each
day of hearing service, or substantial portion thereofo
e) The hearing officers shall mutually designate
and retain at the commencement of the initial term of service
and as often thereafter as necessary, the services of an
attorney whose duties shall include attendance at all hearings
for the purpose of furnishing legal advice and guidance to the
presiding officer and otl'E r officers of the panel, and the
prep~ration of the panel's decision in each case, and who
shall be compensated for his services out of agency funds at
the rate of fifteen dollars for each hour of legal service
rendered
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f) The members of the ·panel shall serve in
rotation as presiding officer at each complete hearingo _
the other officers may participate in the examination of
witnesses or in discussions with the parties or counsel but
only the presiding officer, with the assistance of counsel
to the panel, may m_a ke rulings during the course of the
· hearirg o
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g) The panel, at its discretion, may elect to
·hear several cases, separately, at one hearing session and
will so advise the agency officials responsible for issuance
of notice s of he aring.
Sec. 6
Jurisdiction of the Hearing Panel
a) The panel sha ll have jurisdiction to decide
issues r e l a ting to rejecti ons of applications for admission
to the projects, evictions, or other sanctions sought to be
impos ed by the agency on t e nants, rent dete rmina tions , and
complaints by tenants against management personnel but not
against other t enants (unle ss such complaints against other
tenants ~re considered as part of an eviction action under
Sect i on I (d) of Pa rt II of this Bill of Rights)o
b) The pane l shall de t ermi ne whether the a ct i on
taken by management conflicts with the Housing Act, and t he
regulat i ons of the Public Housin~ Administrat ion and the local
a gencyo I f t he pane l de t e rmines that a confl i ct exis t s , it
shal l d i~miss the not i c e of evic tion, order t he app l i c ation
reinstate d or order any ot her necessary and appropriate re l ief.
In the ev ent tha t the ma t ter of iss ue does no t c onflict with
a spec ific prov is ion of the statute or the r egul ations , the
panel s hall decide the case, i n an equitable manner, with
the obj e ct of e ffe c tuating the humane intent and purposes of
t he Housing Ac to
Seco 7
Conduct of Hearing
a) Rights of Partieso I n any hearing held pursuant
to this Section, any party s ha ll have t he r i ght to appear,to
be repre sented by c ounsel or other per s on of h is choosing; to
call, exami n e , and cross - examine witness e s; to int roduc e i nto
the record docume ntary or other evidence ; and to present an
opening statement and closing argumento
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(1)
Cross-Examination; Exclusion of
Certain Evidenceo In any hearing the
· tenant or applicant shall have the right to confront and
cross-examine all witnesses who testify or furnish or have
furnished evidence adverse to the applicant or tenant;
including persons who have· furnished information contained
·in case records, investigation reports, affidavits, statements,
and other documents the Housing Authority wishes to introduce
into evidence at the hcaringo If the Housing Authority fails
·to produce any such person for cross-examination by the
applicant or tenant, no evidence, oral, written, err otherwise,
attributable to such person may be admitted in evidence except
at the reque st of the applicant or tenant, provided however
that nothing herein· shall preclude the admission of evidence
otherwise admissible under judicially recognized exceptions
to the hearsay ruleo
(2) Discove!.Y..2.. At least seven (7) days prior
to t:he da te set for the hearing the applicant or tenant shall
receive upon request: a list of all witnesses who are to testify
on behalf of the Housing Authority; copies of all statements
of such witnesses in possession of the Housing Authority which
have b ee n reduce d to writing and signed or otherwise approved
or adopted by the witness; copies of all written or other
evidence which the Haus ing Authority intends to read from or .
introduce into ev idence at the hearing; copies of all s tatutes,
rules, regulations, and policies•to which the Housing Authority intends to rely, at the hea~ing and othe rwise in support of its
actionso Any witness not disclosed, or document not furnished
in accor_d ance wit h this sub - section may no t testify, or be
introduc ed in evidenc e, at the hearing.
b) Rules of Evidenceo Every party shall have the
right to present his case or defense by oral or documentary
evidence, to submit re buttal evidence, and to conduct such
cross-examination as may be required for a full and true
disclosure of the factso Subject to the provisions of subsection (a) of this Section, any oral nr rlo~Dment~ry ~uirlen~e
shall be received except that which is clearly irrelevant,
immaterial, or unduly repetitious.,
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c) Burden of Proofo In any hearing involving
an eviction, denial of application, or rent determination
the burden of proof shall be 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 pr·oof shall present its case firsto
d) Transcript~ In any hearing held pursuant to
this Section a verbatim record of the proceedings shall be
kept, either by a stenographer or by an electroni€ deviceo
When this record shall have been transcribed, copies shall
be furnished to th~ parties~ A copy of the transcript shall
be furnished to the q:plicant or tenant free of charge upon
request 0
e) Briefso At the conelusion of any hearing, both
parties shall be advised of their right to submit briefs in
support of their respective positions. The applicant or
tenant shall be granted a minimum of two (2) weeks after
·receipt of the transcript of the hearing in which to file his
briefo The Housing Authority shall be granted a minimum of
orie (1) week after receipt of the brief of the applicant or
tenant in which to file a reply briefo A brief is "filed"
within the meaning of this sub-section when a copy has been
filed wi th the hearing panel and a copy has been served on the
adverse party or his counsel.
f) Decisiono No final decision shall be rendered
by the hearing board until each member of the board has had
an opportunity to review the transcript of the hearing and to
read the briefs of the partieso The board shall only consider
evidence contained in the record of the hearing , to wit,
the transcript, exhibits admitted into evidence , and the
briefs of the partieso Decisions shall be by a majority of
the hearing panel and shall be binding upon the par tie s i
subject to the right of judicial review provided in Section 8.,
(2) The decision shall be in writing and shall
set forth in detail the findings of fact and conclusions of law
upon which the decision is basedo The hearing panel is .required
in its decision to c onsider and dispose of all is s ues and
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contentions raised by the partieso Each finding of
fact and conclusion of law in the decision must be
supported by and in accar rlance with a preponderance of the
reliable and relevant evidence in the hearing recordo
'i
A decision ·shall be rendered within two
(2) weeks after receipt by the panel of the case record
and briefs of the partieso Copies of the decision shall
be served upon all parties and their respective counselo
(3)
Sec. Ba
Judicial Review
a) The housing authority and the tenant or
applicant, if aggrieved by the decision of the hearing panel,
shall have the right to seek such judicial review as is provide.cl by the laws of the jurisdiction in which the rearing
was heldo The decisioµ of the r~viewing court shall be
binding on the panel and the parties unless reversed on appealo
,~
b) The filing of the complaint or petition for
re~iew shall not stay enforcement of the decision of the
hearing panel, but the hearing panel may order such a stay
in the interests of justice, except that the filing of such
a complaint or petition shall operate to stay an eviction
pending the exhaustion of judicial remedies by the tenanto
c) Within ten (10) days. af~ r service of the
complaint or petition, or within such further time as the
court may allow, the hearing panel shall transmit to the
reviewing court a copy of the entire record of the proceeding
under review.
d) Nothing in this section shall be deemed in any
way to foreclose or diminish the right to o-ther means of
judicial review, redress, relief, or trial de nova provided
by lawo
Seco 9o
Hearing Optioral
a) Notwithstanding any other provision contained
in this Bill of Rights, the hearing procedure provided herein
shall be deemed to be optional with the tenant or applicanto
The tenant or applicant shall have the right to refuse a hearing
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before the hearing panel and to seek in the first instance
such relief as is available from the courts of the jurisdiction in which the housing authority is locatedo
b) The hearing procedure provided herein shall
be deemed to be mandatory on the housing authorityo The
authority must utilize the hearing procedure in the first
instance and may only seek Judicial review of decisions of
the hearing panelo
....
July 5, 1967

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