24 CFR 966.56 - Procedures governing the hearing.

§ 966.56 Procedures governing the hearing.

(a) The hearing must be scheduled promptly for a time and place reasonably convenient to both the complainant and the PHA and held before a hearing officer. A written notification specifying the time, place, and the procedures governing the hearing must be delivered to the complainant and the appropriate official.

(b) The complainant shall be afforded a fair hearing, which shall include:

(1) The opportunity to examine before the grievance hearing any PHA documents, including records and regulations, that are directly relevant to the hearing. (For a grievance hearing concerning a termination of tenancy or eviction, see also § 966.4(m).) The tenant shall be allowed to copy any such document at the tenant's expense. If the PHA does not make the document available for examination upon request by the complainant, the PHA may not rely on such document at the grievance hearing.

(2) The right to be represented by counsel or other person chosen as the tenant's representative and to have such person make statements on the tenant's behalf;

(3) The right to a private hearing unless the complainant requests a public hearing;

(4) The right to present evidence and arguments in support of the tenant's complaint, to controvert evidence relied on by the PHA or project management, and to confront and cross-examine all witnesses upon whose testimony or information the PHA or project management relies; and

(5) A decision based solely and exclusively upon the facts presented at the hearing.

(c) If the complainant or the PHA fails to appear at a scheduled hearing, the hearing officer may make a determination to postpone the hearing for no more than 5 business days or may make a determination that the party has waived his right to a hearing. Both the complainant and the PHA must be notified of the determination by the hearing officer. A determination that the complainant has waived the complainant's right to a hearing will not constitute a waiver of any right the complainant may have to contest the PHA's disposition of the grievance in an appropriate judicial proceeding.

(d) At the hearing, the complainant must first make a showing of an entitlement to the relief sought and thereafter the PHA must sustain the burden of justifying the PHA action or failure to act against which the complaint is directed.

(e) The complainant or the PHA may arrange, in advance and at the expense of the party making the arrangement, for a transcript of the hearing. Any interested party may purchase a copy of such transcript.

(f)Accommodation of persons with disabilities.

(1) The PHA must provide reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities to participate in the hearing. Reasonable accommodation may include qualified sign language interpreters, readers, accessible locations, or attendants.

(2) If the tenant is visually impaired, any notice to the tenant which is required under this subpart must be in an accessible format.

(g)Limited English Proficiency. PHAs must comply with HUD's “Final Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients Regarding Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient Persons” issued on January 22, 2007 and available at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/promotingfh/lep-faq.

[ 40 FR 33406, Aug. 7, 1975. Redesignated at 49 FR 6714, Feb. 23, 1984, and amended at 56 FR 51580, Oct. 11, 1991; 81 FR 12374, Mar. 8, 2016]

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