Crooks v. Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles
Facts: A single tenant receives rental assistance under the federal Section 8 program. The tenant gets married, but continues to report they are single on the annual eligibility questionnaires required by the program, thus continuing to receive their previous benefits, rather than the reduced benefit received by married individuals. After learning of the tenant’s marital status, the city housing authority terminates the tenant’s enrollment in the Section 8 program for incorrectly reporting their marital status.
Claim: The tenant seeks to retain Section 8 benefits, claiming the housing authority incorrectly terminated their enrollment in the program since their misreporting was a result of a misunderstanding of program requirements rather than a willful attempt to obtain extra benefits.
Counterclaim: The housing authority claims the termination was correct since the housing authority has discretion to do so based on any intentional and material false statement.
Holding: A California appeals court holds the housing authority may terminate the tenant from the Section 8 program since the housing authority has discretion to do so based on any intentional and material false statement. [Crooks v. Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (Oct 3, 2019)_CA6th_]