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June 2, 1993

JESSE COMER, et al., Plaintiffs,
JACK KEMP, in his official capacity as Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, et al., Defendants. JESSE COMER and JEWEL CULVERHOUSE, individually and on behalf of all persons similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. JACK KEMP, in his official capacity as Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development; and UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT; and BELMONT SHELTER CORPORATION; and TOWN OF AMHERST, NEW YORK, Defendants. JESSE COMER, HAZEL GRIMES, YVONNE PRIMM, and FELICIA STOKES, individually and on behalf of all persons similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. JACK KEMP, in his official capacity as Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development; and UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT; and RENTAL ASSISTANCE CORPORATION OF BUFFALO; and CITY OF BUFFALO, NEW YORK, Defendants. JESSE COMER, ROSEMARY COMER, JEWEL CULVERHOUSE, HAZEL GRIMES, ANNETTE McCUTCHEON, individually and on behalf of all persons similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. JACK KEMP, in his official capacity as Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development; and UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT; and BUFFALO MUNICIPAL HOUSING AUTHORITY, and LAWRENCE A. GRISANTI, individually and in his official capacity as former Executive Director of the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority; and CITY OF BUFFALO, NEW YORK; and JAMES D. GRIFFIN, in his official capacity as Mayor of the City of Buffalo, New York; and RICHARD L. HIGGINS, individually and in his official capacity as Commissioner of the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal, Defendants.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOHN T. CURTIN


CURTIN, District Judge

 This civil action, alleging racial discrimination in public housing and assistance programs, is filed as a class action. Plaintiffs seek to remedy defendants' policies, practices, and procedures which, for decades, allegedly have created and perpetuated deliberate racial discrimination within the state and federal low-income housing programs which defendants administer in the City of Buffalo and Erie County, New York. The class which plaintiffs seek to represent includes all former, current, and future minority residents of and applicants to Buffalo public housing projects and area Section 8 certificate programs.


 Plaintiffs, individually and in seeking to represent a class of others similarly situated, originally filed this suit on a single complaint. Defendants moved to strike portions of the complaint, but this court denied their motions. Item 38. Defendants next moved to stay the issuance of an order certifying the class pending discovery on the class certification issue. See generally Items 39-48.

 At a hearing held to discuss the various motions, the court ordered plaintiffs' counsel to file proposed amended complaints reflecting the court's recommendation that there were at least three distinct general issues involved in the lawsuit. The court further noted the prospect of three separate classes. This was done for the purpose of clarity and to provide a guide for the conduct of depositions to follow on the class certification issues. Item 67.

 Accordingly, plaintiffs filed three separate first amended complaints. One was filed by Jesse Comer, Jewel Culverhouse, and on behalf of all those similarly situated, against the Belmont Shelter Corporation [Belmont], the Town of Amherst [Amherst], and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and its Secretary, Jack Kemp [HUD or federal defendants]. Item 68, First Amended Complaint [Belmont]. A second complaint was filed by Jessie Comer, Hazel Grimes, Yvonne Primm, and Felicia Stokes against the Rental Assistance Corporation [RAC], the City of Buffalo [Buffalo], and the federal defendants. Item 69, First Amended Complaint [RAC]. The third was filed against all of the remaining defendants from the original complaint, including: the federal defendants, the Buffalo Municipal Housing Administration [BMHA] and its former executive director, Lawrence Grisanti; the City of Buffalo, and its Mayor, James D. Griffin; and Richard Higgins, the Commissioner of the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal [DHCR]. Item 70, First Amended Complaint [BMHA].

 All of the defendants have answered plaintiffs' various first amended complaints. See Item 72 (Grisanti); Item 76 (Belmont); Item 77 (Higgins); Item 79 (BMHA); Item 80 (Amherst); answers of the federal defendants, Item 87 (Belmont Compl.), Item 88 (RAC Compl.), Item 89 (BMHA Compl.); Item 90 (RAC), Item 97 (Buffalo & Griffin). Plaintiffs and defendants Belmont and RAC have also filed their statements of fact pursuant to local rule 13(a)(1). See Items 124, 126, 137, 138.

 A review of the current posture of this case discloses that all defendants, except for the City of Buffalo, either have moved to oppose class certification, or have moved for dismissal and/or summary judgment on the grounds of plaintiffs' lack of standing. See Items 82, 83 (Higgins); Items 113, 114 (HUD); Item 116 (Amherst); Items 119, 123 (Belmont); Item 115 (BMHA). Extensive discovery materials, affidavits, and deposition testimony have been filed with the court. See Items 85, 158 (Higgins); Items 117, 153 (RAC); Item 119, 156 (Belmont); Items 135, 179 (Plaintiffs' Exhibits). Plaintiffs have responded to defendants' challenges, and defendants have again replied. *fn1" See Items 91, 104, 132, 133, 134, 246 (Plaintiffs); Items 93, 159 (Higgins); Item 154 (RAC); Item 157 (Belmont); Items 115, 161, 259-60 (BMHA). The court has heard oral argument on the standing issues, now pending decision. Item 188.

 Several rounds of intervenor motions have been filed on behalf of plaintiffs. However, in ruling on the application of a second round of intervenors, this court decided to first dispose of the various motions concerning plaintiffs' standing and class certification issues before considering any further intervenor applications. See Item 255. Plaintiffs have challenged this approach, but the Second Circuit affirmed this court's order. Comer v. Kemp, 990 F.2d 623 (2d Cir. 1993) (unpublished opinion).


 The Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (HCDA), P.L. 93-383, created two programs which are relevant to plaintiffs' claims. Title I of the HCDA, § 101, et seq., created the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Title II of the HCDA, § 201 et seq., amended the United States Housing Act of 1937 to add a new "Section 8," which created a program popularly known as the Section 8 Existing Housing program (Section 8).

 Under the Section 8 program, defendant United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) authorizes local agencies, referred to as public housing administrators/agencies (PHAs), to issue a "certificate" or "voucher" to eligible lower-income families, which entitle them to have the PHA pay a portion of their rent directly to the landlord. These rent subsidies are subsequently reimbursed by defendant HUD. Unlike public housing projects or other HUD-sponsored multi-family subsidized housing programs, Section 8 subsidies are not generally linked to the rental unit. Once a certificate or voucher is issued, if the recipient family moves from its chosen apartment, it may carry its certificate or voucher to the next apartment. However, a family with a Section 8 certificate or voucher must find itself a private landlord who participates in the program.

 Defendant HUD has adopted the use of metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) to establish the boundaries of a particular PHA market area. The MSA is determined by an evaluation of the geographic area in which housing units are in mutual competition. 53 Fed. Reg. 36701. Under this system, defendant HUD has identified all of Erie County, including the City of Buffalo, as a single housing market. Item 69 PP 32-35 at 8.

 The PHA is often a municipal entity which arranges for a separate agency to administer the local Section 8 program. Typically, the PHA is a not-for-profit corporation, specializing in the administration of lower-income housing programs. The PHA enters into an Annual Contributions Contract with defendant HUD, which provides for the payment of administrative fees to the PHA by defendant HUD. In connection with the Annual Contributions Contract, the PHA must submit both an Administrative Plan and an Equal Housing Opportunity Plan which describe the administrative details of the Section 8 program and compliance with federal and state equal-housing requirements. 24 C.F.R. § 882.111.

 The Equal Opportunity Housing Plan must describe the manner in which the PHA will achieve the participation of qualified landlords both "outside areas of low income or minority concentration," and outside the local jurisdiction in any area where the PHA is not legally barred from entering into contracts." 24 C.F.R. § 887.59(c). As part of its Administrative Plan, the PHA must include a description of the geographic area its program will serve. 24 C.F.R. § 882.203-4.

 Defendant HUD has authorized the City of Buffalo (City), as a PHA, to operate the City's Section 8 program. The City, in turn, entered into a contract with defendant Rental Assistance Corporation (RAC) to administer the City's program. Defendant HUD has also authorized defendant Town of Amherst (Town) as a PHA, to operate a Section 8 Existing Housing program on behalf of a 41-community consortium. The defendant Town is party to an agreement for the administration of its Section 8 program with defendant Belmont Shelter Corporation (Belmont).

 1. RAC

 The Rental Assistance Corporation (RAC) is a not-for-profit corporation which is under contract with the city of Buffalo as an agent to administer the City's Section 8 Existing Housing Program on behalf of the city of Buffalo. Over ninety percent of the households reportedly serviced by RAC are minorities. RAC was incorporated on October 17, 1988, and only began operating on March 1, 1989. Item 118 at 1. Prior to RAC's March 1989 commencement of operations, the Section 8 program was administered for the City by the Housing council of the Niagara Frontier (HCNF). In turn, the HCNF became the Housing Development Corporation of Western New York (HDC), which is still in operation today, purportedly operating as a separate entity from RAC.

 Sometime during 1987-88, the city expressed an interest in pursuing greater input and accountability over the Section 8 program. A contract battle between the city and HDC ensued over the City's requested representation on the HDC board of directors. In part, RAC was born of the resolution of the dispute between HDC and the City. The city terminated its contract with HDC and entered into a new contract with RAC. In contrast to the former City contract with HDC, RAC's contract provided for the City to appoint four members to RAC's board of directors. While RAC and HDC have a number of common directors, the City appointees do not serve on the HDC board. The RAC contract also called for the City to retain a percentage of the administrative fees earned by RAC for operation of the Section 8 program. Although it lost its contract, HDC managed to retain all of its assets in order to pursue other charitable housing activities. In any event, HDC's records on the Section 8 program were turned over to RAC when RAC took over the program in 1989.

 With respect to RAC's policy regarding the Section 8 program, RAC maintains a waiting list of households who have applied for, and are determined eligible for, housing assistance administered by RAC. The order of applicant selection is primarily determined by the existence of a "federal preference," as established by statute. Thus, first preference is given to applicants who are involuntarily displaced, living in substandard housing, or paying more than 50 percent of their income toward rent. 42 U.S.C. § 1437f(d)(1)(A); 24 C.F.R. § 882.219.

 According to affiant George Fanelli, if an applicant indicates qualification for a federal preference, the name is listed as meeting the federal preference requirement and placed on an appropriate waiting list. In addition, as of August 1990, RAC combined its waiting list with that of BMHA. Accordingly, if a person applies at BMHA, they are automatically placed on the waiting list of RAC, and vice versa. Item 117, Filim Aff. P 5 at 2. Applicants are chosen by the date of their application and those applicants who claim a federal preference are offered assistance prior to any non-federal preference applicants. As of late October 1990, there reportedly were in excess of 7,000 applicants on the waiting list, 70 percent of whom claim a federal preference. According to RAC, it would take at least nine years for all of its applicants claiming federal preferences to obtain assistance. Id. Fanelli Aff. PP 16-17 at 4-5.

 Once an applicant is chosen from the waiting list, RAC provides the eligible lower income applicant family with either a voucher or a certificate. Id. Fanelli Aff. P 18 at 5. In their lawsuit, plaintiffs challenge only RAC's certificate program as illegally restricting the use of Section 8 certificates to the city of Buffalo. See Item 69 PP 54-69. Initially, RAC's Administrative Plan limited its jurisdiction to the City of Buffalo, ostensibly because RAC was under contract to the City to perform a City function. Subsequently, in January 1990, RAC proposed, subject to City approval, amending the language concerning certificates in its Administrative Plan to include all of Erie County. Meanwhile, on July 2, 1990, HUD issued a directive to all PHAs which required every PHA to advise certificate holders that they had a right to move anywhere within the PHA's metropolitan statistical area or within some contiguous area. Id. Fanelli Aff. PP 25-28 at 7-8 and Ex. A.


 Defendant HUD authorized defendant Town of Amherst (Amherst) as a public housing authority, to operate the Section 8 Existing Housing program on behalf of the Erie County consortium. Item 124 at P 1. Presently, the consortium consists of 41 municipalities, surrounding defendant City of Buffalo. Three communities do not belong to the consortium: Kenmore, Wales, and the city of Buffalo. Erie County believed that a group of communities, joined together, would establish economies of scale to maximize the amount of assistance that could be obtained from federal authorities. The Erie County Community Development consortium, therefore, was created to pool resources among its smaller communities that otherwise would not have applied to HUD for Section 8 assistance, or that would not have been able to effectively administer a Section 8 program, or did not fully understand the requirements of the program. Item 157 at 2-3. The City of Buffalo was never invited to join the consortium because it was an entitlement community receiving community development funds and already had an existing Section 8 program in place. Id. at 2 n.1.

 In 1977, Amherst entered into an agreement with a not-for-profit agency, defendant Belmont Shelter Corporation (Belmont), to administer the suburban Section 8 Existing Housing program on behalf of the consortium. In addition, Belmont promotes housing development, construction of affordable homes and apartments, and supervises the management of subsidized apartments. Item 119, Huckabone Aff. at P 2.

 The Belmont Section 8 program is, in many ways, similar to that of RAC. As a Section 8 administrator, defendant Belmont is directly responsible for the selection of program participants pursuant to federal and state laws. For example, Belmont must adhere to the same regulations concerning federal preferences and outreach as RAC. Belmont is also responsible for the daily administration of the Erie County consortium's Section 8 programs. The one critical distinction between the Belmont and RAC program is Belmont's use of a local preference in addition to the federally mandated preference structure. Defendants argue that it is understandable that a community participating in the consortium would want to establish a preference for individuals either working or living in a member community. Plaintiffs contend that the consortium's local preference has prevented minorities from moving to the suburbs.

 3. BMHA

 The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority (BMHA) was organized in 1934 as an independent housing authority under the provisions of article 5 of the former state housing law. See § 403, State public Housing Law. Among the powers vested in the BMHA as a public housing authority is the power to enter into contractual and other agreements with the federal government in connection with federal projects and other federally funded programs to provide housing for lower-income individuals. Public Housing Law § 37(1)(i). A "federal project" is a project aided or financed in part or in whole by the federal government. Id. at § 3(15). On the other hand, a "state project" is aided or financed in part or in whole by the state, but not in any way by the federal government. Id. at § 3(16).

 BMHA and the City of Buffalo (City) administer 29 public housing projects, 25 of which are federal projects and 4 of which are state projects. Item 70 at PP 35-37. Two of the state-aided projects, Frederick Douglas Towers and Ferry-Grider Homes, are currently in operation. However, two state-funded projects representing some 960 apartment units, Ellicott Mall and Kensington Heights, are no longer in operation. Plaintiffs contend that defendants City of Buffalo, BMHA, and Higgins have taken steps to transfer the Kensington and Ellicott projects to private ownership and allowed these two projects to become uninhabitable. Id. at PP 216-20 & 207.

 The New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) provides housing authorities with state funding for their Section 8 programs. The BMHA state-aided projects receive no federal funds. In fact, without approval from the DHCR Commissioner, no state housing monies allocated to an authority or a municipality can be commingled with federal aid. Public Housing Law § 75. BMHA has agreed in its loan/subsidy contract with DHCR that it will not obtain funds from any source other than the state in connection with either of its state projects without first obtaining the approval of the Commissioner of DHCR. Moreover, in each BMHA contract with DHCR, the authority has agreed to place the funds and income with respect to the relevant project in a separate fund earmarked for the operation of that project. Item 83 at 2.

 Since 1975, the City has received in excess of $ 269 million from defendant HUD as a grantee under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. The City has used the funds to pay for all or part of its housing code enforcement program. As a condition to receipt of CDBG funds, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 5304(b)(2), a grantee must "affirmatively further fair housing." Item 70 at PP 178-79, 183. As an additional condition to receipt of the CDGB funds, a grantee must administer the grant in conformance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, also known as the Fair Housing Act of 1968, as amended in 1988. Id. at P 181. Finally, the Housing and Community Development Act requires that each CDGB funds recipient submit, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 5304(e), an annual performance report for defendant HUD's review. The report must specifically address a CDGB recipient's accomplishments with respect to Title VI and Title VIII compliance, and the recipient's efforts at meeting the statutory obligations to affirmatively promote fair housing under 42 U.S.C. § 5304(b)(2). Id. at PP 188-89.


 Each defendant in each complaint, with the exception of the City of Buffalo, has filed a motion seeking dismissal and/or summary judgment challenging various plaintiffs' individual and class standing. A motion for summary judgment will be granted if it is shown "that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). See generally Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, 106 S. Ct. 2548 (1986). In this case, in light of the extensive filings of deposition testimony, affidavits, statements of material fact, numerous briefs and the hearing of oral argument, the standing issue may be more appropriately addressed on summary judgment. Thus, the burden is on defendants to show that there is no set of facts arising under the complaint upon which plaintiff can succeed. See Huntington Branch, N.A.A.C.P. v. Town of Huntington, 689 F.2d 391, 395 n.4. (2d Cir. 1982).

 The Supreme Court's fair housing decisions which involve standing issues instruct that a particular plaintiff's standing greatly depends upon which law is used as the predicate for suit. In this case, plaintiffs proceed under a myriad of different statutes. Most of plaintiffs' efforts at redress, however, emanate from Title VIII's Fair Housing Act provisions and the Civil Rights Act of 1866, as codified at 42 U.S.C. § 1982. These two statutes do not share the lowest common denominator for admission into federal court warranted by Article III of the United States Constitution. Compare Trafficante v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., 409 U.S. 205, 209, 34 L. Ed. 2d 415, 93 S. Ct. 364 (1972) (holding Title VIII standing as broad "as is permitted by Article III of the Constitution" and extends to indirect victims of defendants' housing discrimination) with Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 512-14, 45 L. Ed. 2d 343, 95 S. Ct. 2197 (1975) (standing to assert Trafficante claim denied under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1982, & 1983). However, at this point, it seems reasonable to this court to give plaintiffs the benefit of an Article III analysis of their claims before turning to any other jurisprudential limitations on standing.

 Article III of the United States Constitution limits the jurisdiction of the courts to actual cases or controversies, one aspect of which is a plaintiff's standing to challenge the alleged wrong. The standing requirement generally is met only by a plaintiff with a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy, as measured by a distinct and palpable injury, which is causally connected to the conduct being charged against the defendant. See Allen v. Wright, 468 U.S. 737, 770, 82 L. Ed. 2d 556, 104 S. Ct. 3315 (1984). Therefore, plaintiff must allege that he has suffered a "distinct and palpable injury" as a result of the defendant's action. Havens Realty, 455 U.S. at 372 (quoting Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 501, 45 L. Ed. 2d 343, 95 S. Ct. 2197 (1975)). Consequently, there are three elements of proof involved: injury, causation, and redressability. The plaintiff must (1) personally have suffered "some actual or threatened injury" that is (2) caused by or "fairly can be traced to" the defendant's challenged action, which (3) "is likely to be redressed by a favorable court decision." Valley Forge Christian College v. Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Inc., 454 U.S. 464, 472, 70 L. Ed. 2d 700, 102 S. Ct. 752 (1982).

 In general, defendants' motions question whether plaintiffs have alleged sufficient facts to demonstrate a distinct and palpable injury. In this context, it is important to note that any allegations of abstract, hypothetical, or conjectural injury on plaintiffs' part are insufficient to impart the necessary standing to sue public entities or officials. Biggs v. Block, 629 F. Supp. 1574, 1577 (E.D.N.Y. 1986).

 In part, the question becomes one of whether plaintiffs have alleged sufficient injury in fact. However, in a steering or community-wide fair housing case such as this, plaintiffs' complaint may have to articulate with greater specificity the nature of the injury and how it was caused by the defendant's violation than would ordinarily be required. In fact, the Supreme Court has suggested the inclusion of more detail on the causation elements necessary to establish the plaintiff's standing to sue. See Havens Realty Corp. v. Coleman, 455 U.S. 363, 376-78, 71 L. Ed. 2d 214, 102 S. Ct. 1114 (1982); Gladstone, Realtors v. Village of Bellwood, 441 U.S. 91, 109-11, 60 L. Ed. 2d 66, 99 S. Ct. 1601 (1979); Warth, 422 U.S. at 502-08. Only one plaintiff with standing is required for a case to be decided on its merits. See Village of Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Development Corp., 429 U.S. 252, 263-64, 50 L. Ed. 2d 450, 97 S. Ct. 555 (1977).

 Moreover, although a plaintiff may have alleged injury sufficient to obtain a hearing on the question of a defendant's liability for damages, that plaintiff may not have met the standard to be heard on a claim for injunctive or declaratory relief. Id.; see also City of Los Angeles v. Lyons, 461 U.S. 95, 101-02, 75 L. Ed. 2d 675, 103 S. Ct. 1660 (1983). The latter rule takes on particular importance in cases, like this one, which are filed as class actions.

 The question of plaintiffs' standing in a class action suit does not end with the constitutional inquiry into an individual plaintiff's standing to raise issues generally. For example, "if none of the named plaintiffs purporting to represent a class establishes the requisite of a case or controversy with the defendants, none may seek relief on behalf of himself or any other member of the class." O'Shea v. Littleton, 414 U.S. 488, 494, 38 L. Ed. 2d 674, 94 S. Ct. 669 (1974). Additional qualifications of a class representative, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23, must also be met. A plaintiff must have, assuming common issues, individual standing to raise those common issues.


 Plaintiffs Jessie Comer and Jewel Culverhouse are minority, low-income residents of the City of Buffalo. The contention is that each plaintiff is eligible for Section 8 -- Existing Housing subsidies administered by defendants HUD, Belmont, and Amherst. Plaintiffs allege that many of defendants' policies, practices, and procedures discriminate against them on the basis of their minority race and have contributed to the creation and perpetuation of segregated housing patterns throughout Erie County.

 Among all of the policies complained of, plaintiffs target two in particular in this complaint. The first policy provides local residency preferences to Section 8 program applicants who reside or work in the suburbs surrounding the City of Buffalo. Secondly, plaintiffs allege that Belmont failed to conduct an adequate outreach program. The court will discuss the outreach issue, common to both the Belmont and RAC complaints, in section III of this order.

 A. The Local Preference Claim

 The Section 8 housing program was enacted for the purpose of aiding lower income families to obtain housing assistance payments for existing newly constructed and substantially rehabilitated housing. 42 U.S.C. § 1437(f). Defendant Belmont is the public housing agency (PHA) of defendant Town of Amherst and serves as the administrator of a consortium of 41 communities in Erie County, New York. There are presently three Section 8 programs administered by Belmont: the certificate program, the housing voucher program, and the moderate rehabilitation program. The rehabilitation program is not at issue in this suit.

 Under the certificate program, persons entitled to rental assistance may receive assistance for an apartment of their choice within certain geographical limits established by HUD. Individuals pay no more than a set percentage of their combined monthly income toward rent and utilities.

 Under the voucher program, individuals may use their rental assistance subsidy anywhere in Erie County. There is no limit on the amount of rent a tenant pays, since the tenant must contribute the shortfall between the amount of rent and the subsidy, which is based on a "payment standard" established by HUD.

 As with most public assistance programs, there are more applicants than funds available for assistance. Consequently, defendant Belmont devised a waiting list for all Section 8 applicants. Under this system, priorities are assigned to each applicant based upon various claims of preference. The first priority is given to an applicant who qualifies for a "federal preference" as defined in 24 C.F.R. § 882.219. To qualify, an applicant must prove to be: (a) involuntarily displaced; (b) living in substandard housing; or (c) paying more than fifty (50) percent of gross family income toward rent and utilities. Proof of any one of the three factors noted yields a federal preference. Id.

 According to HUD regulations, Belmont may incorporate other non-federal preferences, including the use of a "local preference," designed to rank applicants on the waiting list who are qualified for a federal preference. For example, Belmont may give precedence to those applicants who qualify for both a federal preference and a local preference over nonresident applicants who hold only federal preferences. See 24 C.F.R. § 882.2199(b)(1) & § 882.219(b)(2)(iii)(A). However, there are several limitations. Local residency preferences may not be based on the length of time an applicant has resided in the jurisdiction. An applicant who is working, or who has received notice to begin work in the local jurisdiction, must be treated as a resident. See 24 C.F.R. § 882.209(a)(4)(i). Belmont gives local preference to any eligible applicant either living, working in, or intending to work in any of the 41 communities of the Erie County consortium. Belmont incorporates its local preference in accordance with the following priorities: Priority 1: Applicants claiming both federal and local preferences; Priority 2: Applicants claiming federal preferences only; Priority 3: Applicants claiming local preferences only; Priority 4: Applicants claiming no preferences.


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