Section 8 housing is a federal housing program administered by individual states. States set up their own Section 8 programs, including eligibility requirements, properties available and tenant rights, within federal guidelines. Policies and procedures regarding Section 8 tenant screening and community policies at individual Section 8 housing units vary by the city and state. All housing authorities offer at least informal hearings to people denied Section 8 housing, including evictions. Section 8 informal hearing decisions may also be appealed to applicable state superior courts.
Requesting a Section 8 Denial Hearing
Request a hearing to appeal your denial of Section 8 housing. It is also sometimes called an informal hearing or a review hearing or even just a conference. This is a meeting where you present your side, the housing authority presents its side, and a hearing officer or administrative judge makes a decision. In most cases, you must request a Section 8 hearing within 14 to 30 days from when the written denial notice was sent.
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Prepare for the Section 8 denial hearing. Carefully read the letter you were sent by the Section 8 housing authority specifying the reasons for the denial and make sure you have a good explanation or reasonable counter-argument for all the points mentioned.
Attend the Section 8 denial hearing and present your case. Bring copies of all necessary supporting documents to the hearing and distribute them to all parties in advance.
Move into your home if you win your Section 8 denial hearing appeal. If not, in most cities and states you have other administrative appeal options. In San California, California, you may request an executive review within 20 days of a denial decision and the executive review can take up to another 30 days. In Massachusetts, you may request a reconsideration of your Section 8 denial and if still denied you can appeal it to the state's Department of Housing and Community Development.
If your Section 8 appeal is denied at the housing authority level, hire an attorney to take your case to the state superior court if all other avenues fail. The legal process for appealing a Section 8 denial to the superior court may take several months.
Consider consulting and even hiring an attorney to represent you at your Section 8 denial hearings. Some attorneys work with low-income clients on a reduced fee or even "pro bono," or free, basis.
Things You'll Need
Applicable housing authority Section 8 hearing guidelines and instructions