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Paul, Weiss is committed to providing impactful pro bono legal assistance to individuals and organizations in need across a broad range of constitutional, civil rights and other public interest matters.

Pro Bono Client Wins Hearing for Section 8 Housing Subsidy

Paul, Weiss and co-counsel The Legal Aid Society secured an agency hearing for a pro bono client to establish her right to succeed to her late mother’s Section 8 housing subsidy.

Our client and her mother received a Section 8 voucher from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD). In 2013, the mother twice requested that HPD remove our client from the household, even though they still resided together. HPD rejected the first request, which the mother supported only with her own sworn statement. However, HPD accepted the second request, without additional evidence from the mother, and despite having government printouts showing that the mother kept receiving food stamps for our client in the same apartment. After the mother died, HPD denied our client the right to succeed to the voucher, as well as a hearing to contest termination of the voucher. Our client filed an Article 78 petition in Bronx Supreme Court to annul HPD’s determination, but the trial court denied the petition. 

Paul, Weiss joined the case on appeal in March 2018 to draft and file the briefs and to give oral argument. The First Department reversed, deciding that HPD’s determination was arbitrary and capricious in light of its inconsistent responses to the mother’s two requests and its disregarding the food stamps printouts, which the agency’s Administrative Plan states are more reliable than a head of household’s claims. The appellate court vacated HPD’s determination, reinstated the voucher retroactive to the date of termination, and remanded for an informal hearing before HPD on the issue of whether our client has succession rights to the mother’s Section 8 benefits.

The Paul, Weiss team included litigation associates Laurence Tai and Tito Adewunmi. Litigation partner David Ball supervised the matter.

January 17, 2019

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