Informal Hearing Process
The family has the opportunity to request an informal hearing in the event of a change or termination of their Section 8 housing assistance. The request must be submitted, in writing, within 10 days from the date of the initial notice of change or termination. If the family does not request a hearing in accordance with the policy, then DHA's disposition of the decision or termination will become final.
The hearing will be conducted by a Hearing Officer. During the hearing, DHA and the family may have present all witnesses and potential witnesses in the matter. The family will be afforded a fair hearing provided the basic safeguards of due process, which shall include:
a) The opportunity to examine before the hearing, and at the expense of the family, to copy all documents, records and regulations of DHA which are relevant to the hearing. Any document not made available after the request of the family will not be relied on by DHA at the hearing.
b) The right to be represented by counsel or other person selected as a representative at the family's own expense.
c) A decision based solely and exclusively upon the facts presented at the hearing.
d) DHA must be given the opportunity to examine at DHA offices, before the hearing, any family documents that are directly relevant to the hearing. DHA must be allowed to copy any such document at DHA's expense. If the family does not make the document available for examination on request of DHA, the family may not rely on the document at the hearing.
The Hearing Officer will, within ten working days, give a final written decision to the family. The decision will be mailed to the family at the address the family has on file with DHA.
If the family or DHA fails to appear at the scheduled hearing, the Hearing Officer may make a determination that the party has waived his right to a hearing. Both DHA and the family shall be notified of the determination by the Hearing Officer.
The Hearing Officer shall require DHA, the family, counsel, and other participants or spectators to conduct themselves in an orderly fashion. Failure to comply with the directions of the Hearing Officer to obtain order may result in exclusion from the proceedings or in a decision adverse to the interest of the disorderly party and granting or denial of the relief sought, as appropriate.
DHA is not bound by a hearing decision concerning:
1) A matter of which DHA is not required to provide for an informal hearing.
2) A matter in excess of the authority of the person conducting the hearing.
3) A determination which is or may subsequently be ruled contrary to program regulations, handbook requirements of state, federal or local law.
If DHA should determine it is not bound by such a hearing decision, it will promptly notify the family of the decision in writing and of the reasons for the determination.