HPD Can't Terminate Rent Subsidy
LVT Number: #20999
HPD terminated public housing tenant's rent subsidy because she failed to report income earned by her two adult children on her annual household income recertification. Tenant appealed HPD's decision, claiming that it was arbitrary and unreasonable. The court ruled against tenant, but the appeals court revoked HPD's decision. HPD's finding regarding tenant's income reporting was supported by substantial proof. But the penalty of terminating tenant's housing subsidy was shockingly disproportionate to the offense. Tenant had lived in the building for more than 30 years and had no record of any prior offenses. Terminating her rent subsidy would likely lead to homelessness for tenant and her 13-year old son. In addition, there was no indication in the record that tenant's failure to report her adult children's income had any effect on the amount of her rent subsidy. The case was sent back to HPD to calculate the amount of rent subsidy tenant received and to set an appropriate lesser penalty.
Gray v. Donovan: NYLJ, 1/20/09, p. 31, col. 2 (App. Div. 1 Dept.; Tom, JP, Gonzalez, Buckley, Sweeny, Catterson, JJ)