In the Matter of the Application of EUGENE MOTT, JR., Petitioner,
HPD, Respondent. For a judgment pursuant to Article 78 of the CPLR Index No. 400536/12
DORIS LING-COHAN, J.S.C.
The following papers, numbered 1-3 were considered on this Article 78:
Papers Numbered 1, 2, 3
Notice of Motion/Order to Show Cause, — Affidavits — Exhibits 1, 2 Answering Affidavits — Exhibits_ 3 Replying Affidavits
Cross-Motion: [ ] Yes [ X ] No
Upon the foregoing papers, it is ordered that this Article 78 proceeding is decided as indicated below.
Petitioner Eugene Mott, Jr. (Mott), pro se, seeks an order pursuant to Article 78 of the CPLR: (i) reversing respondent New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development's (HPD) denial of his request for a reasonable accommodation; and (ii) vacating respondent HPD's determination to change his Section 8 voucher, from an enhanced voucher, to a regular voucher.
Petitioner Mott received Section 8 subsidy pursuant to the United States Housing Act of 1937 (Act). Section 8 of the Act authorizes the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), "to enter into annual contributions contracts with public housing agencies pursuant to which such agencies may enter into contracts to make assistance payments to owners of existing dwelling units in accordance with this section." 42 U.S.C. § 1437f(b)(l). Respondent HPD is one of the public housing agencies charged with the duty and responsibility of administering the Section 8 subsidy pursuant to the Act. Respondent HPD administered petitioner Mott's Section 8 subsidy.
When petitioner Mott was admitted into the Section 8 program, he qualified for an enhanced Section 8 voucher, or "sticky voucher", pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1437f(t). The enhanced voucher provides assistance to tenants of buildings in which the private owner has left a HUD project-based subsidy program by providing subsidies to pay the difference between the reasonable market price of the unit and the greater of 30% of the tenant's household income or the rental amount the household was paying when the tenant first became eligible for the voucher. Based on the household composition at the time petitioner was approved for a Section 8 subsidy, he was housed in a three bedroom apartment with his family. Sometime thereafter, petitioner's household composition changed. After a long history with HPD, not at issue in this Article 78 proceeding, petitioner Mott's household composition was clarified.
Petitioner Mott is currently living alone in a three bedroom apartment. On May 18, 2011, respondent HPD notified petitioner Mott, by letter, of his overhoused status. Thereafter, petitioner Mott requested an exception to the Section 8 subsidy standards, which was denied on June 7, 2011. Petitioner Mott then requested an informal hearing. Such hearing was held on August 26, 2011. Petitioner Mott, who was represented at the hearing, agreed that he was overhoused but requested a reasonable accommodation, arguing that a medical exception be granted based on his medical and psychological conditions.
Thereafter, the hearing officer issued a hearing determination, dated December 1, 2011 (Hearing Decision), upholding HPD's initial decision to deny petitioner Mott's request for an exception to the Section 8 subsidy standards. On December 9, 2011, HPD sent petitioner Mott a letter offering him an available one bedroom unit approximately one block from his current unit. Petitioner opted to stay in his current apartment and HPD changed his enhanced Section 8 voucher to a one bedroom regular voucher.
Petitioner now brings this Article 78 proceeding to reverse the Hearing Decision, and to vacate respondent HPD's decision to change his ...