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Questions about Public Housing Laws

Public housing is a development that is funded and built by the government to provide housing at nominal rents to low-income families, elderly people or individuals with disabilities.

Listed below are a few questions on issues related to public housing.

I currently live in an income-based apartment but have applied for public housing. Can my landlord evict me for doing this?

To evict you for just applying for public housing would be wrong. But you can get evicted for other reasons like not paying your rent on time.

Can a public housing authority legally get a towing company to tow cars without a permit?

If the landlord lays down rules that say that residents require a valid parking permit to park and vehicles without a permit will be towed, then the towing would be considered legal.

At the HUD subsidized housing run by a public housing authority that I live in, we have intercoms in every apartment. When the manager turns on the intercom at the office, a light comes on in the apartment which is being signalled and all sounds made in that apartment can be heard by the manager. Is this legal?

The situation that you have described sounds like an invasion of privacy. The management has no authority to listen to residents’ conversations. If this continues, you could make a complaint with the housing authority.

The public housing I live in just underwent an inspection. I have been asked to get rid of the entertainment center around my TV, along with some other furniture because it was said to be blocking a window. Is it legal to ask a resident to do this?

Public housing has certain do’s and don’ts which you could read up about in the housing agreement that you have signed. This would probably include the situation described above. Since the authorities do have the right to control the property, if they feel that there is a structure in the building that would create a hazard or block emergency exits, residents can be asked to remove them.

My aunt resides in a public housing complex with a companion who recently passed away. She thought she was part of the lease but the main office has denied her claim and asked her to move. She has no income and no place to go. She has been served an eviction notice and has to appear in court today. What legal rights does she have?

In most cases, a person cannot be automatically added to a lease unless he/she signs a lease agreement. Therefore, the judge will most likely want to know only if your aunt can legally stay in the apartment or not and whether she has been given notice to vacate. Unfortunately, if she has no legal right to stay then she will have to leave even if she has no other place to go to. Therefore, based on the facts of the case, your aunt could try and work something out with the landlord. She could try to sign a lease and become a lawful tenant. That’s probably the only way she can stay on in the apartment.

Public housing complexes come in many sizes to cater to big and small families. They also have many rules and regulations governing them. As a resident, you must be aware of what your housing agreement states to avoid any misunderstandings later on.
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