Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mentally Ill Disabled Clients living in Section 8 Housing Can be Thrown Out using HUD Non-legal "Preponderance of Evidence" rule

Citizens assume that if a police-person knocks on your door----if you've got your wits about you----they must present a search warrant before you are required to allow them in your house. However, if you receive Section 8 Housing from HUD, if someone uses or sells drugs that is not prescribed to them or smokes marijuana, you can be immediately evicted from your home. If someone ACCUSES YOU of doing such you may be thrown out of your house.

LOTS of people with chronic mental health challenges live in Section 8 housing. In fact, I can't think of a single one of mine who does not get Section 8 housing assistance.

I have a client who is on probation for 5 years, w/ six months of that being 'intensive supervision' (read: the probation officer shows up at your door, demands to come in and inspect, and can speak to you pretty much anyway they like) for being in the company of a woman whom was his girlfriend; she sold someone two Vicodin pills in a setting which was not Section 8 housing; the Waynesville PD arrested him and threw him in jail for a couple of weeks while he waited for a court appointed attorney.

EVEN THOUGH all charges were dismissed save one, and he was given probation for that (and required to pay the court over $3000.00----he's got five years to do that, ya know), he has lost his Section 8 housing for three years. The difference for his household, which includes his elderly mother, is $200/ month loss. That's a 25% bite out of the money coming into the household. No, there is nowhere cheaper to live.

Another disabled client, living in Asheville, was demanded to 'turn over your pot' to the Asheville PD and he emptied his pockets on the spot of two joints. They marched into his apartment without needing to ask for or show anything.

According to HUD Section 8 housing paperwork given to me by Mountain Projects in Haywood county, Waynesville, NC, with the copyright 2002 by Nan McKay & Associates (why isn't this HUD paperwork if they are using this like a manual which prescribes what they can do to Section 8 housing recipients?), the 'Required Evidence' which is the term utilized to throw the person out of their Section 8 housing is this:

"Preponderance of evidence is defined as evidence which is of greater weight or more convincing than the evidence which is offered in opposition to it; that is, evidence which as a whole shows that the fact sought to be proved is more probable than not. The intent is not to prove criminal liability, but to establish that the act(s) occurred. Preponderance of evidence may not be determined by the number of witnesses,but by the greater weight of all evidence.

Credible evidence may be obtained from police and/ or court records. Testimony from neighbors, when combined with other factual evidence can be considered credible evidence. Other credible evidence includes documentation of drug raids or arrest warrants.

The PHA will terminate assistance for criminal activity by a household member, as described in this chapter, if the PHA determines, based on a preponderance of the evidence, that the household member has engaged in the activity, regardless of whether the household member has been arrested or convicted for such activity.

The PHA will pursue fact-finding efforets as needed to obtain credible evidence."

(Section 15-9 06/01/02 AdminPlan)

I have seldom read any 'legal-like' statement-----which has the power of throwing someone out of their house immediately-----that was more convoluted, conveying the least amount of information possible.

Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland comes to mind:

"`.....Then you should say what you mean,' the March Hare went on.

`I do,' Alice hastily replied; `at least--at least I mean what I say--that's the same thing, you know.'

`Not the same thing a bit!' said the Hatter. `You might just as well say that "I see what I eat" is the same thing as "I eat what I see"!'

`You might just as well say,' added the March Hare, `that "I like what I get" is the same thing as "I get what I like"!'

`You might just as well say,' added the Dormouse, who seemed to be talking in his sleep, `that "I breathe when I sleep" is the same thing as "I sleep when I breathe"!'


Post a Comment

<< Home