Informal Hearing Procedure
- Right to a Hearing
The Beaufort Housing Authority (BHA) shall provide the opportunity for an informal hearing for its participants of the Section 8 Program. The purpose of the hearing is to consider whether the BHA's decisions relating to the individual circumstances of a participant family are in accordance with the law, HUD regulations, and BHA policies.
- Subject of Hearing
The Hearing shall consider the following types of decisions
- A determination of the family's annual or adjusted income and the use of such income to compute the housing assistance payment.
- A determination of the appropriate utility allowance (if any) for tenant-paid utilities from the PHA utility allowance schedule.
- A determination of the family unit size under the BHA subsidy standards.
- A determination that a voucher program family is residing in a unit with a larger number of bedrooms than appropriate for the family unit size under the BHA subsidy standards or the BHA determination to deny the family's request for an exception from the standards.
- A determination to terminate assistance for a participant family because of the family's action or failure to act.
- A determination to terminate assistance because the participant family has been absent from the assisted unit longer than the maximum period permitted under BHA policy and HUD rules.
In the cases described in (D), (E), and (F), BHA must give the opportunity for an informal hearing before BHA terminates housing assistance payments for the family under an outstanding HAP contract.
- When a Hearing is Not Required
The BHA is not required to provide a participant family an opportunity for an informal hearing for any of the following:
- Discretionary administrative determinations by the BHA.
- General policy issues for class grievances.
- Establishment of the BHA schedule of utility allowances for families in the program.
- A BHA determination not to approve an extension or suspension of a voucher term.
- BHA determination that an assisted unit is not in compliance with HQS. (However, BHA must provide the opportunity for an informal hearing for a decision to terminate assistance for a breach of the HQS caused by the family).
- A BHA determination that the unit is not in accordance with HQS because of the family size.
- A determination by BHA to exercise or not to exercise any right or remedy against the owner under a HAP contract.
- Ineligibility or denials of continued assistance based on any drug-related or violent criminal activity (even in the absence of arrest or conviction.)
- Procedures for Hearing
- The request for a hearing must be written and presented to the BHA within ten (10) calendar days of the date of the determination for which the hearing is scheduled.
- The hearing may be conducted by any person or persons designated by the BHA other than a person who made or approved the decision under review or a subordinate of such person.
- The person who conducts the hearing may regulate the conduct of the hearing in accordance with the BHA hearing procedure.
- At his own expense, the participant may be represented by a lawyer or other representative.
- The BHA and the participant shall be given the opportunity to present evidence and question any witnesses. Evidence may be considered without regard to the admissibility under rules of evidence applicable to judicial proceedings.
- The person who conducts the hearing shall issue a written decision stating briefly the reasons for the decision. Factual determinations relating to the individual circumstances of the participant shall be based on the evidence presented at the hearing. A copy of the hearing decision shall be furnished to the participant within five (5) calendar days.
- Effect of Decision
- The BHA is not bound by the decision if it concerns a subject outside the scope of the hearing process of the authority of the person conducting the hearing.
- The BHA is not bound by a hearing decision contrary to HUD regulations or requirements or otherwise contrary to Federal, State, or Local Law.
- If the BHA determines that it is not bound by a decision of the hearing officer, it must promptly notify the participant of the determination and the reason for the determination.
- If the family includes a person with disabilities, the decision concerning such action is subject to consideration of reasonable accommodation in accordance with BHA policy.