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NYCHA Termination of Tenancy Hearings / Article 78 Proceedings:


New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) tenants follow a somewhat different path to their Holdovers. NYCHA generally holds a 'fair hearing' or 'impartial hearing' before an 'impartial hearing examiner'. These are usually held at 250 Broadway in Manhattan, even if you reside in a development in another borough.

How an Attorney Can Help:

NYCHA Tenants have the right to be represented by counsel. Regardless of what your opinion may be as to the fairness of fair hearings it is essential that this phase of the matter be contested. If you lose the hearing, or don't bother to show up, the ensuing Housing Court case will NOT give you another opportunity to contest the issues which were (or could have been) raised at the hearing. You may be told that you have essentially lost your Housing case before it even went to court. Unless NYCHA wants to give you a break you may hear that the only thing anyone is willing to talk to you about is time to leave.
If you lose the fair hearing and still want to fight NYCHA, then you need to consider the possibility of bringing an Article 78 Proceeding. An Article 78 Proceeding is a lawsuit where YOU sue NYCHA because your fair hearing wasn't fair or NYCHA failed to follow proper procedure. In an Article 78 Proceeding YOU are the Petitioner. You bring the case against them. Legal papers need to be prepared and served, but the Judge in the Article 78 Proceeding has the power to review the hearing process. The Housing Court does not.
It is essential that your Article 78 Proceeding is filed on time. You cannot be late filing it. Often times there will be a delay between when you lose the hearing and when NYCHA starts the eviction case. They haven't forgotten you. Don't let your time to start an Article 78 Proceeding expire because you're waiting for the eviction papers.
Article 78 Proceedings can also be filed against other governmental entities having nothing to do with housing.

Adding a Family Member to Your Household:

According to NYCHA if you want to have a family member move in with you on a permanent basis they need to file a form called "PERMANENT PERMISSION REQUEST FOR A FAMILY MEMBER/ADDITIONAL PERSON TO LIVE WITH A DEVELOPMENT TENANT" and have that request approved. That sounds reasonable in theory, but in practice many NYCHA tenants report that Housing Managers and Assistants DO NOT give out this form. Some people get handed a TEMPORARY request form. That will not generally lead to the right to keep the apartment as a Remaining Family Member. Many people, finding the form difficult to obtain, just move their relative in without permission. But that person will not have the same rights as they would have if they were given permanent permission.
It is better to have the permanent permission. If NYCHA will not give you the form, call me. I HAVE THE FORM. They may change the form in the future, but I have the one revised in July, 2007. Of course, there are also eligibility requirements regarding income, criminal background check and other matters to consider.
Your relative (or domestic partner, or returning member of your original household) will have a much easier time taking over the apartment as a Remaining Family Member if the permission is granted one year PRIOR to the death or move of the tenant of record.

How an Attorney Can Help:

If the Office will not give you the form, or if they will not accept the form once you filled it out, or if the appropriate person is always "out" or "busy", an attorney may be able to get the office to comply with its own proper procedures. If the refuse to comply with their own procedures then an Article 78 Proceeding may be appropriate step to take. Most tenants don't want to go that far when no one is being evicted yet, but getting everything done properly from the beginning may help prevent an eviction case from even being started.