Saving Lawrence's Subsidized Housing Benefits
Prairie State Legal Services saves Lawrence’s* subsidized housing benefits
A local Housing Authority terminated the Housing Choice voucher of a 70-year-old man, Lawrence.* The voucher enabled Lawrence to live in an apartment that he could afford. Lawrence had surgery for throat cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy treatments when the Housing Authority terminated his voucher. The Housing Authority took this action because Lawrence failed to report as income a small pension of $62 per month that he received for 5 years, which affected the amount of rent he was charged. Lawrence mistakenly believed that he previously reported this income as part of his Social Security income. However, the Housing Authority called it an intentional failure to report income. Prairie State Legal Services represented Lawrence at his administrative hearing on appeal and successfully proved that Lawrence made a mistake, which was not intentional. Based on Lawrence’s age and health challenges, Prairie State requested a reasonable accommodation so Lawrence can receive assistance with reporting at future redeterminations of eligibility for his voucher. The decision at the hearing was entirely in Lawrence’s favor, reversing the original decision to terminate his voucher, and allowing Lawrence to pay the difference in rent through a repayment plan. This allowed Lawrence to maintain his subsidized housing and avoid homelessness.
*Names have been changed to protect the identity of our clients and maintain confidentiality.