24 CFR 966.55 - Procedures to obtain a hearing.
(a) Request for hearing. The complainant shall submit a written request for a hearing to the PHA or the project office within a reasonable time after receipt of the summary of discussion pursuant to § 966.54. For a grievance under the expedited grievance procedure pursuant to § 966.55(g) (for which § 966.54 is not applicable), the complainant shall submit such request at such time as is specified by the PHA for a grievance under the expedited grievance procedure. The written request shall specify:
(1) The reasons for the grievance; and
(2) The action or relief sought.
(b) Selection of Hearing Officer or Hearing Panel. (1) A grievance hearing shall be conducted by an impartial person or persons appointed by the PHA, other than a person who made or approved the PHA action under review or a subordinate of such person.
(2) The method or methods for PHA appointment of a hearing officer or hearing panel shall be stated in the PHA grievance procedure. The PHA may use either of the following methods to appoint a hearing officer or panel:
(i) A method approved by the majority of tenants (in any building, group of buildings or project, or group of projects to which the method is applicable) voting in an election or meeting of tenants held for the purpose.
(ii) Appointment of a person or persons (who may be an officer or employee of the PHA) selected in the manner required under the PHA grievance procedure.
(3) The PHA shall consult the resident organizations before PHA appointment of each hearing officer or panel member. Any comments or recommendations submitted by the tenant organizations shall be considered by the PHA before the appointment.
(c) Failure to request a hearing. If the complainant does not request a hearing in accordance with this paragraph, then the PHA's disposition of the grievance under § 966.54 shall become final: Provided, That failure to request a hearing shall not constitute a waiver by the complainant of his right thereafter to contest the PHA's action in disposing of the complaint in an appropriate judicial proceeding.
(d) Hearing prerequisite. All grievances shall be personally presented either orally or in writing pursuant to the informal procedure prescribed in § 966.54 as a condition precedent to a hearing under this section: Provided, That if the complainant shall show good cause why he failed to proceed in accordance with § 966.54 to the hearing officer or hearing panel, the provisions of this subsection may be waived by the hearing officer or hearing panel.
(e) Escrow deposit. (1) Before a hearing is scheduled in any grievance involving the amount of rent (as defined in § 966.4(b)) that the PHA claims is due, the family must pay an escrow deposit to the PHA. When a family is required to make an escrow deposit, the amount is the amount of rent the PHA states is due and payable as of the first of the month preceding the month in which the family's act or failure to act took place. After the first deposit, the family must deposit the same amount monthly until the family's complaint is resolved by decision of the hearing officer or hearing panel.
(2) A PHA must waive the requirement for an escrow deposit where required by § 5.630 of this title (financial hardship exemption from minimum rent requirements) or § 5.615 of this title (effect of welfare benefits reduction in calculation of family income). Unless the PHA waives the requirement, the family's failure to make the escrow deposit will terminate the grievance procedure. A family's failure to pay the escrow deposit does not waive the family's right to contest in any appropriate judicial proceeding the PHA's disposition of the grievance.
(f) Scheduling of hearings. Upon complainant's compliance with paragraphs (a), (d) and (e) of this section, a hearing shall be scheduled by the hearing officer or hearing panel promptly for a time and place reasonably convenient to both the complainant and the PHA. A written notification specifying the time, place and the procedures governing the hearing shall be delivered to the complainant and the appropriate PHA official.
(g) Expedited grievance procedure. (1) The PHA may establish an expedited grievance procedure for any grievance concerning a termination of tenancy or eviction that involves:
(i) Any criminal activity that threatens the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the PHA's public housing premises by other residents or employees of the PHA, or
(ii) Any drug-related criminal activity on or near such premises.
(2) In the case of a grievance under the expedited grievance procedure, § 966.54 (informal settlement of grievances) is not applicable.
(3) Subject to the requirements of this subpart, the PHA may adopt special procedures concerning a hearing under the expedited grievance procedure, including provisions for expedited notice or scheduling, or provisions for expedited decision on the grievance.