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HPD Rules: Relocation Payments and Services

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HPD Rules: Relocation Payments and Services

Postby TenantNet » Sun Jun 25, 2006 10:23 pm

RULES & REGULATIONS OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK
TITLE 28. HOUSING PRESERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT
CHAPTER 18. RELOCATION PAYMENTS AND SERVICES.


28 RCNY § 18-01. Services to Persons Temporarily Displaced by Vacate Orders and Payment of Fees to Persons Providing Substitute Permanent Residences to Persons thus Displaced.

(a) Definitions.

The following capitalized terms used in this section shall have the meanings stated below.

Administrative Code. “Administrative Code” refers to the New York City Charter and Administrative Code.

Agency or Department. “Agency or Department” refers to the Division of Relocation Operations, Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), 75 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038.

Prepared for Occupancy. “Prepared for occupancy” refers to premises are prepared for occupancy when freed of all hazardous violations classified as hazardous by the Office of Rent and Housing Maintenance pursuant to Article 2 of Subchapter 5 of Chapter 2 of Title 27 of the Housing Maintenance Code, supplied with all appropriate fixtures and appliances, painted, and reasonably cleansed and available for occupancy.

Relocatee. “Relocatee” refers to an individual or a head of household and his/her family, deprived of a permanent residence rented by him/her or them in the City of New York as a direct result of the enforcement of a Vacate Order (as defined in these regulations) and not ineligible for relocation services or benefits under any provision of these regulations or of law. “Family” shall include those persons who permanently resided with a head of household at the time the Vacate Order was issued.

Relocation Manager. “Relocation Manager” refers to an employee of the Department assigned to coordinate and direct the furnishing of relocation services to a particular relocatee.

Site Occupancy Record. “Site Occupancy Record” refers to a written file concerning each relocatee, maintained by the Relocation Manager, recording all pertinent agency actions concerning the relocatee.

Standard Apartment. “Standard Apartment” refers to an apartment satisfying the following criteria:

(i) There may not be more than three (3) hazardous violations as classified by the Office of Rent and Housing Maintenance pursuant to Article 2 of Subchapter 5 of Chapter 2 of Title 27 of the Housing Maintenance Code in the building.

(ii) Floor area of rooms must be adequate for all resident family members as defined in the Administrative Code.

(iii) Absence of vermin infestation, mice, or other pests or a letter from a licensed exterminator certifying that the building is under contract to be serviced monthly.

(iv) Apartment must be self-contained; it may not have any rooms or facilities which can be reached only by going through a public area.

(v) The building must have central heat and hot water.

(vi) There must be a private kitchen or kitchenette within the apartment for the exclusive use of the tenant.

(vii) There must be private and fully enclosed toilet and bathing facilities within the apartment for the exclusive use of the tenant.

(viii) Each room must have a window or adequate light and ventilation.

Suitable Accommodation. “Suitable accommodation” refers to accommodations adequate in size to meet the needs of relocatee and his/her family as defined by § 27-2075 of the Administrative Code.

Uninhabitable. “Uninhabitable” refers to substantial structural or other damage due to fire, smoke or water that cannot be or is not remedied within a reasonable time.

Vacate Order. “Vacate Order” refers to any order of a governmental agency requiring occupants of a structure to depart therefrom pursuant to the following:

(i) Health Department vacate orders issued pursuant to § 17-159 Administrative Code (relating to orders for housing defects likely to cause disease) or other provision of law;

(ii) Buildings Department vacate orders issued pursuant to § 26-101 et seq. of the Administrative Code or other provision of law.

(iii) Fire Department vacate orders issued pursuant to § 15-227 of the Administrative Code or other provision of law.

(iv) Code enforcement vacate order issued by the Division of Code Enforcement of HPD.

(b) Department duties upon issuance of Vacate Order.

Upon receiving notice of a Vacate Order, the Department shall offer temporary shelter to relocatee. The Department may order a relocatee to move from one temporary shelter to another if, in the judgment of the Department this shall facilitate the work of the Department or reduce the costs of temporary shelter payable by the Department. After offering such temporary shelter to relocatee, the Department shall offer temporary shelter to relocatee. The Department may order a relocatee to move from one temporary shelter to another if, in the judgment of the Department this shall facilitate the work of the Department or reduce the costs of temporary shelter payable by the Department. After offering such temporary shelter to relocatee, the Department shall:

(1) furnish relocatee with a copy of this section in English and Spanish and shall notify him/her of the name, office address and telephone number of the Relocation Manager assigned to the relocatee;

(2) submit an application to the New York City Housing Authority on behalf of the relocatee within seven (7) days after relocatee’s entry into temporary shelter;

(3) pay temporary shelter benefits in the amounts provided in subdivision (c) of this section and subject to the other conditions stated in these regulation; and

(4) refer relocatee to at least three Standard Apartments in the borough of relocatee’s choice, if available. Copies of this section in English and Spanish shall be posted in the offices of Relocation Managers.

(c) Temporary shelter benefits.

The Department shall pay the actual cost of temporary shelter up to $12 per day for one adult and $7 per day for each additional person residing with the relocatee in the room or, if suitable substitute shelter is unavailable for these amounts, the Department may pay such additional sums as are necessary to obtain suitable shelter for the relocatee.

(d) Moving expenses.

Upon moving to suitable permanent accommodations, a relocatee not entitled to payment of moving expenses from another City Agency shall be entitled to reimbursement from the Department of his/her moving expenses to the extent of either of the following:

(1) actual expenses up to $300.00, upon relocatee’s submission of a paid bill immediately following the move or;

(2) a scheduled amount based on the number of rooms vacated, as follows:

Number of rooms vacated Amount

1-1 1/2 $ 75.00
2-2 1/2 110.00
3-3 1/2 150.00
4-4 1/2 190.00
5-5 1/2 225.00
6-6 1/2 250.00
7-7 1/2 275.00
8-8 1/2 300.00

(e) Obligations of relocatee.

(1) Unless this section specifically requires otherwise, any notice required to be given by a relocatee must be given in writing to the Relocation Manager.

(2) Relocatee must actively seek out suitable permanent accommodations and report his/her progress to the Relocation Manager weekly or at such longer intervals as the Department shall require.

(3) Prior to moving from temporary shelter to permanent accommodations found by his/her own efforts or to signing a lease for such accommodations, relocatee must notify the Relocation Manager. This notice shall include the address from which relocatee was vacated, the new permanent address and the name of relocatee.

(4) The relocatee has the duty to submit a copy of the Tenant Introduction Letter signed by a landlord, agent or superintendent, to the Department, within three working days of any apartment referral made by the Department and, in the event the relocatee is of the opinion that the accommodations are unavailable, unsuitable or otherwise unacceptable, (s)he shall, at the time of submitting the Letter, specifically state in writing the facts upon which his/her conclusions are based.

In the event the relocatee is of the opinion that the accommodations are unavailable, unsuitable or otherwise unacceptable, (s)he shall specifically state in writing the fact upon which his/her conclusions are based.

(5) The relocatee has a duty to advise the Department whenever (s)he finds permanent accommodations and to keep the Department advised regarding the date of expected occupancy.

(6) The Department is entitled to withdraw its offer and the relocatee is entitled to withdraw his/her acceptance of an apartment if the apartment is not prepared for occupancy within 21 days after the initial acceptance.

(7) After having accepted a unit offered through the efforts of the Department and having been notified that it is prepared for occupancy, the relocatee has a duty to report to the Department in writing, if possible, or orally, within three working days of such notification any facts which in his/her opinion would constitute grounds for a determination that the accommodations have not been prepared for occupancy.

(8) The relocatee has a duty to respond to all reasonable notices for appointments with the Department.

(f) Non-occupancy in temporary shelter; termination of benefits.

(1) Before an emergency relocatee ceases to reside at his/her assigned temporary shelter accommodations, it shall be his/her duty to notify the Department immediately in writing. The Department shall forthwith terminate temporary shelter benefits.

(2) Whenever an emergency relocatee is absent from his/her temporary accommodations for a period of four consecutive days or more, it shall be his/her duty to inform the Department of the date upon which (s)he will return. The Department shall, during the period of absence, suspend temporary shelter benefits.

(3) Except where an emergency relocatee has notified the Department in compliance with paragraph (1) or (2) above, the Department, whenever it is of the opinion that the emergency relocatee is not residing at his/her temporary shelter accommodations, may suspend temporary shelter benefits upon four days notice. This notice shall advise that the relocatee’s temporary shelter benefits, shall be suspended unless (s)he notifies the Relocation Manager during business hours, or the hotel management at other times, of his/her continuing occupancy within four calendar days of the delivery of the notice.

(4) Temporary shelter benefits suspended under the provisions of paragraph (3) above shall be suspended for a period of seven days, at which time such benefits will be terminated unless the relocatee, within that seven day period, has advised the Department during business hours, or the hotel management at other times, of his/her intention to continue in occupancy, in which case the relocatee shall be reinstated.

(5) The provisions of paragraphs (3) and (4) above shall be applied to a relocatee and his/her household only once. Thereafter, the Department may terminate a relocatee’s temporary shelter benefits upon four days’ notice except where the relocatee has notified the Department of his/her intended absence, as required in paragraph (2) above. Such notice of termination shall advise that the relocatee’s temporary shelter benefits shall be terminated unless (s)he notifies the Department during business hours or the hotel management at other times, of his/her continuing occupancy within four calendar days of the delivery of the notice.

(g) Refusal to relocate; termination of benefits.

(1) Relocatee’s temporary shelter benefits shall be terminated after notice and hearing (as provided in subdivisions (i)-(m) of this section upon his/her unjustified refusal of three Standard Apartments or, if the relocatee is to be relocated to a rooming unit, three rooming units which are suitable accommodations, to which (s)he has been referred by the Department unless any of the following is true:

(i) The relocatee has been offered and has agreed to rent an accommodation from New York City Housing Authority, which accommodation is not yet prepared for occupancy.

(ii) An accommodation previously accepted by the Relocatee and not withdrawn by the Department is not prepared for occupancy;

(iii) The Department has failed to process a public housing application expeditiously; or

(iv) Physical incapacity or illness of the relocatee or member of his/her household prevents the relocatee from complying with his/her obligations under subdivision (e) hereof.

(2) A termination hearing (pursuant to subdivisions (i)-(m)) of this section) based on relocatee’s unjustified refusal as provided in subdivision (g)(1) above, shall be adjourned for seven days if:

(i) The relocatee has an application for public housing pending with the New York City Housing Authority; and the Authority, through no fault or delay of the relocatee, has not certified, rejected, or given notice of deferral of certification regarding such application; or;

(ii) Other good cause is shown.

(h) Other grounds of termination.

Relocatee’s temporary shelter benefits may be terminated immediately, after notice and hearing (pursuant to subdivisions (i)-(m) of this section) upon occurrence of any of the following:

(1) The relocatee refuses, without good cause, to accept an offer to rent suitable accommodations made by the New York City Housing Authority.

(2) The relocatee refuses, without good cause, to move into accommodations which the relocatee has agreed to rent from the New York City Housing Authority and which are prepared for occupancy;

(3) The relocatee refuses, without good cause, to move into accommodations which were offered through the efforts of the Department which the relocatee has agreed to accept, and which have been prepared for occupancy;

(4) The relocatee has refused without good cause, a request by the Department or by the New York City Housing Authority to provide pertinent information relevant to the agency’s relocation efforts or the relocatee’s eligibility for benefits and services;

(5) The relocatee has failed without good cause, to comply with the obligation to actively seek out suitable accommodations and to report his/her progress on a weekly basis, as required under subdivisions (i)-(m) of this section above.

(6) The relocatee or any member of his/her household dwelling in temporary shelter has engaged in conduct which threatens the health, safety or property of: other residents, guests or visitors in the facility; city personnel, agents or employees; or of the proprietor of the facility, his/her agents or employees.

(7) The relocatee has made material misstatements or concealed material facts from the Department concerning his/her initial or continued eligibility for relocation services.

(8) The relocatee has available to him/her suitable and habitable permanent accommodations at the time of notice of the intention to terminate.

(9) The relocatee has failed to respond to a notice for appointment with employees of the Department, as required under subdivisions (i)-(m) of this section above.

(10) The relocatee is ineligible for relocation benefits or services:

(i) because (s)he did not in fact dwell in the vacated premises;

(ii) because the vacated premises were not uninhabitable, unless the prior accommodations are no longer available to the relocatee through no fault of his/her own; or

(iii) because (s)he is otherwise ineligible.

(i) Hearing procedures; notice of hearing and other matters.

Prior to the termination of temporary shelter benefits paid on behalf of any relocatee, the Department shall give relocatee notice of the intended termination and an opportunity to be heard, according to the procedures stated in subdivision (i) and the following subdivisions.

(1) Notice of intention to terminate benefits shall be delivered to relocatee in the manner provided in subdivision (p) of this section for the giving of notice and within the time stated in subdivision (i)(2) below. This notice shall be given in Spanish and English and shall advise relocatee:

(i) of the date upon which the Department intends to terminate temporary shelter benefits and of the factual and legal basis upon which the Department intends to terminate temporary shelter benefits;

(ii) the time, date and place which the Department will make available for a hearing if requested.

(iii) that if the relocatee desires a hearing, (s)he must make a written request therefor which must be received by the Department at least three days before the date which the Department has indicated it will make available for a hearing; except, in the case of a termination under subdivision (i)(2) below, relocatee’s request for a hearing must be received by the Department at least one day before the date which the Department has indicated it will make available for a hearing.

(iv) that for good cause the relocatee may request a change in the time, date and/or place which the department has indicated it will make available for a hearing;

(v) that a timely request for a hearing and appearance at the hearing will stay any intended termination until at least seven days after a hearing officer’s decision;

(vi) that, if the relocatee requests a hearing, (s)he has the right to be represented by an attorney or other representative, to provide a translator, to testify, to produce witnesses to testify, to offer documentary evidence, to cross-examine opposing witnesses, and to examine the site occupancy record prior to or at the hearing.

(2) Notice of the hearing shall be served no fewer than seven days prior to the scheduled date of the hearing except that notice of the hearing shall be served no fewer than three days prior to the scheduled date of the hearing when termination is intended by reason of:

(i) threatening conduct of the relocatee or member his/her family as described in subdivision (h)(6) above;

(ii) the fact that relocatee did not dwell in the vacated premises, as provided in subdivision (h)(10) above; or

(iii) the fact that the vacate premises were not uninhabitable, as provided in subdivision (h)(10) above.

(3) Relocatee or his/her attorney or representative shall be entitled upon request to examine his/her site occupancy records at a reasonable time before the hearing.

(j) Hearing procedures; conduct of hearing.

(1) The hearing shall be conducted by an impartial hearing officer appointed by the Department in accordance with the Manual for Hearing Officers in Administrative Adjudication. The hearing officer shall have the power to administer oaths and shall have no prior personal knowledge of the facts concerning the proposed termination of relocatee.

(2) The hearing shall be informal, all relevant and material evidence shall be admissible and the legal rules of evidence shall not apply. The site occupancy record shall be part of the evidence at any hearing whether or not the Relocation Manager is or can be present. The hearing shall be confined to the factual and legal issues raised in the notice of intention to terminate benefits.

(3) Relocatee shall have a right to be represented by counsel or other representative, to testify, to produce witnesses to testify, to offer documentary evidence, to cross-examine opposing witnesses and to examine the site occupancy record.

(4) For good cause, the hearing may be adjourned by the hearing officer on his/her own motion or at the request of an emergency relocatee or the Department.

(5) The hearing officer shall make a written summary of the proceedings including a statement of the relocatee’s oral and written position and shall annex any documentary evidence offered at the hearing in support thereof. The relocatee shall be shown this summary and given the opportunity to object. In the case of a Spanish-speaking relocatee the summary shall be read to the relocatee in Spanish. In the event the objection is not resolved at the hearing, that objection shall be made part of the summary. The relocatee shall promptly be provided with a copy of the completed summary. The hearing officer may, in his discretion, combine this summary with his findings of fact.

(6) The Department will provide adequate translation services for Spanish-speaking relocatees.

(k) Hearing procedures: decision.

(1) The hearing officer shall render a decision which shall include written findings of fact and shall state the legal basis for any decision to terminate and shall set the termination date in the event that termination is ordered. The decision shall be final absent a timely appeal as described in subdivision (m) below.

(2) A copy of the decision shall be delivered to the relocatee no fewer than seven days prior to the termination date set by the hearing officer, except in the case of termination under subdivision (i)(2) of this section delivery shall be at least 24 hours before termination. Delivery shall be effected in the manner for giving notice provided in subdivision (p) of this section.

(3) In setting a termination date the hearing officer shall take into consideration all the surrounding circumstances, including in appropriate cases:

(i) the ground(s) for the termination;

(ii) the number of offerings of standard apartments to relocatee;

(iii) the relocatee’s cooperation with the Department;

(iv) the status of any public housing application;

(v) any delay in the processing of such application that may be due to the Department or the relocatee; and

(vi) the hardship which will result to the relocatee or his/her family.

(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the hearing officer may not stay termination for a period greater than 14 days after the date of his/her decision, unless the relocatee establishes that the termination would result in exceptional hardship to the relocatee or his/her household.

(l) Hearing procedures; default.

Failure to appear at the scheduled termination hearing shall result in termination of temporary shelter benefits unless upon written application to the Department, the relocatee establishes either:

(1) That the relocatee was not properly served with a notice of intention to terminate an opportunity for a hearing; or

(2) That the default was excusable and that relocatee has a meritorious defense to the intended termination.

Termination shall be stayed if such written application is made prior to the scheduled date of termination. If termination has occurred, the relocatee may make written application to the Department within four days of termination for temporary accommodations which shall be granted if the relocatee set forth facts establishing either of the grounds set forth above. The Department shall issue and serve the relocatee a notice of intention to terminate and opportunity for a hearing, in accordance with the provisions of subdivision (i) above, except that the hearing shall be scheduled on the third business day after service of such notice and that the relocatee need not make a separate request for such hearing.

(m) Appeal.

An appeal from a decision of a hearing officer may be made in writing to the Assistant Commissioner of Division of Relocation Services or his designee provided it is received by the Department within at least five days after the delivery of the hearing officer’s decision. The record before the Assistant Commissioner shall consist of the summary of proceedings, the site occupancy record, the hearing officer’s decision and any affidavits or documentary evidence or written arguments which the appellant may wish to submit. Termination shall be stayed pending at determination of the appeal. A copy of the decision on appeal will be delivered in the manner for giving notice provided in subdivision (p) of this section. In no event shall termination be ordered during the seven-day period immediately following the delivery of the decision on appeal, except in the case of termination under subdivision (i)(2) of this section, termination shall occur within 24 hours after delivery of notice of an adverse decision on appeal.

(n) Application for relief.

If, at any time, a relocatee believes he has been or will be harmed by any action of the Department which he believes is in violation of any law or regulation and if no other provision of this section provides an opportunity for a hearing, he may make application for a hearing to the Commissioner of the Department or his designee in writing setting forth the Department’s action and the manner in which he will be harmed. Notice of the time, date, and place of the hearing and the hearing procedures will be as set forth in subdivisions (i)-(m) of this section.

(o) Relocation benefits.

A relocatee may be eligible for relocation payment as described in paragraphs (1) and (2).

(1) Relocation allowance: A relocatee shall be awarded a relocation allowance payment as shown on the schedule below if the relocatee satisfies the following criteria:

(i) The relocatee must be certified by the Red Cross, Fire Department as having lost all or most of his/her possessions as a result of a fire or other disaster.

(ii) The relocatee must not be under investigation by the Fire Department in relation to a fire of suspicious origin.

(iii) The relocatee must be moving into an apartment which has been certified by the Department as a standard apartment as defined in § 18-01(a) “standard apartment.”

Number of bedrooms Fee

1 $150.00
2 200.00
3 250.00
4 300.00
5 350.00
6 or more 400.00

Notwithstanding the above:

(iv) A relocatee who moves to a rooming house that is certified by the Department as a suitable accommodation and prepared for occupancy is eligible for a relocation allowance payment of $100.00.

(v) No payment will be made to a relocatee whose temporary benefits have been terminated under subdivisions (f)(3) or (f)(5), (g), or (h) of this section.

(2) Relocation incentive:

A relocatee shall be awarded a relocation incentive payment, calculated as set forth below, if the relocatee satisfies the following criteria:

(i) The relocatee must be moving from temporary shelter furnished by the Department into a unit found through his/her own efforts which is not a unit listed by the Department offered to relocatee by the Department or a unit under the jurisdiction of the New York City Housing Authority.

(ii) The relocatee must be moving into an apartment that has been certified by the Department as a standard apartment as defined in § 18-01(a) “Standard Apartment” or, if into a rooming house, into an accommodation certified by the Department as a suitable accommodation and prepared for occupancy as defined in § 18-01(a) “Suitable accommodation” and “Prepared for occupancy.”

(iii) The relocatee must not be under investigation by the Fire Department in relation to a fire of suspicious origin.

(iv) Relocatee’s temporary shelter benefits shall not have been terminated under subdivisions (f)(3) or (f)(5), (g), or (h) of this section.

(v) The relocatee must move from temporary housing within thirty (30) days after he/she moved into temporary housing or the date of the Vacate Order, whichever is later.

An eligible relocatee shall receive a relocation incentive payment equal to one-half the difference between (x) the projected cost of temporary housing for the relocatee for a period of forty-five days, and (v) the actual cost of temporary housing for the relocatee for the period he/she stayed in temporary housing provided however, such payment shall not exceed the Maximum Monthly Shelter Allowance schedule as established under Human Resources Administration Department Regulations, Chapter II, § 352.3 (2)-1, as set forth below:

Number of persons moving to permanent shelter Maximum

1 $152.00
2 183.00
3 194.00
4 218.00
5 226.00
6 249.00
7 303.00
8 or more 317.00

The above schedule shall be revised, without further amendment to these whenever HRA amends its Maximum Monthly Shelter Allowance Schedule.

(3) Disallowance.

Within thirty (30) days of receiving written notification of a disallowance of relocation benefits because an apartment was not a Standard Apartment or, if a rooming unit, was not a suitable accommodation or was not prepared for occupancy, the relocated tenant may furnish, in writing to HPD evidentiary matter indicating the cure of the defect, or in the alternative, the tenant’s reason for disagreement with the finding of HPD. Within thirty (30) days of receipt of said documentation from the tenant HPD shall issue its final determination to the tenant, and reasons therefore.

(p) Notice.

Any notice required under this section to be given by the Department shall be:

(1) personally served on relocatee; or

(2) left with a person of suitable age and discretion in relocatee’s place of residence in temporary shelter or other residence; or

(3) placed under the door of relocatee’s place of residence and a copy with the desk clerk or other responsible representative of the proprietor or lessee of temporary shelter.
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