Denial Of Assistance

An applicant may be denied assistance under the HCV program only for violations of program requirements that are identified as grounds for denial of assistance. Denial of assistance may occur at any or all of the following points:  

  • Denial of listing on the PHA waiting list 
  • Denial or withdrawal of a voucher 
  • Refusal to enter into a HAP contract or approve a lease 
  • Refusal to process or provide assistance through portability 

Each PHA does have some liberty to influence denials based on the information.  

All decisions to deny assistance are subject to civil rights and antidiscrimination laws such as the Fair Housing Act, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Titles II or III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).  

You can find more information on the above-mentioned regulations below.

The PHA cannot deny admission solely based on certain family characteristics, including families with children, families with unwed parents or children born to unmarried parents, families that receive public assistance, or whether the family decides to participate in the family self-sufficiency program (FSS).

The PHA is also prohibited from denying admission on the basis of any protected class, including age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, and disability. Consistent with HUD’s Equal Access Rule, HUD-assisted and HUD-insured housing must be made available without regard to actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.

For applicants with a disability, a PHA must grant a reasonable accommodation request made by an applicant unless it constitutes an undue financial and administrative burden, a fundamental alteration to the program, or results in a direct threat that cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation.  

An example of this would be a reasonable accommodation request made by an applicant who was denied admission due to a previous eviction from housingassisted under the program, for serious violation of the lease where the tenant claims that the eviction or lease violation was related to their disability.

In deciding whether to deny assistance because of action or failure to act by members of the family, PHAs have discretion to consider any of the circumstances in each particular case. Circumstances to consider include, but are not limited to: 

  • The seriousness of the case 
  • The extent of participation or culpability of individual family members 
  • Mitigating circumstances related to the disability of a family member 
  • The effects of denial or termination of assistance on other family members who were not involved in the action or failure to act 

For example, if a member of the family has a criminal background that would exclude the family from eligibility, the PHA may determine that the family can be found eligible if the family member does not reside in the assisted unit, and the family can provide documentation to prove that the member resides elsewhere.  

However, PHAs must deny admission to lifetime registered sex offenders and persons convicted of methamphetamine production in assisted housing, without consideration of the circumstances.  

The PHA’s admission and termination actions must be consistent with fair housing and equal opportunity provisions of HUD regulation 24 CFR 5.105, and with the requirements of 24 CFR part 5, subpart L (Protection for Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking).  

When one household member causes the family to be ineligible, the PHA may choose to admit the family on the condition that the household member does not reside with the family. 

Informal Reviews And Hearings

Informal Review Process

Any person or persons designated by the PHA may conduct an informal review, other than the person or a subordinate of that person who made or approved the decision under review.  

The program applicant must be given an opportunity to present written or oral objections to the PHA decision.  

The PHA must notify the applicant of its final decision after the informal review, including a brief written statement of the reasons for the final decision. 

PHAs are not required to conduct an informal review or informal hearing to reconsider every PHA action or decision.