Many Americans have found themselves in circumstances that made them require assistance to help keep their current housing or to find new housing. If you are on a Housing Choice Voucher waiting list offered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), you might have received a denial letter. If this is the case, your next question might be, how do you write an appeal letter for housing?
How to Appeal Housing Denial
Reaching the top of the Section 8 housing list can take years in some locations. While you are waiting, your circumstances may change. One thing you need to know is that HUD waiting lists are not always based on who applied first. If a family applies who has a worse financial circumstance than you, they may be placed above you on the list; however, if someone in your family becomes disabled or pregnant, this can help you move up.
If your housing has been denied, it may be that you no longer meet the eligibility requirements, or you were denied for reasons such as a member of the family convicted for a drug-related crime or violent crime. You can also be denied for reasons that include a refusal to sign consent forms, or you have received an eviction notice for activities such as property damage. You can also be denied if you failed to make payments on your portion of the rent and for several other reasons.
If you have been denied for any of these reasons and they are in error, then the next thing you should do is to write an appeal letter.
Writing an Appeal Letter for Apartment Denial
The next question you might ask is how to write an appeal. First, review the reasons for your denial included in the letter. Contact the local Tenant Selection Office at the phone number located on the denial letter. Ask for a detailed explanation of the facts that were used in the decision. Request a citation of the laws that were used to deny your application.
Next, you should write a letter requesting a hearing, which is also referred to as a conference in some locations. This letter should be addressed and sent to the person on your denial letter. Make sure to make copies of the denial letter and your response before you submit the request for appeal.
How Do You Appeal a HUD Decision?
In preparation for your hearing or conference regarding your appeal, you should ask for a complete copy of your file and contact legal aid to obtain a copy of the laws used to deny your application. You should then collect any witnesses or documents that support your eligibility for the housing.
Keep in mind that the burden of proof is on you and that material evidence will outweigh any opinions or personal statements. You must attend the hearing and clearly state your case about why the denial was in error, or you must prove that the reason for the denial does not apply to you.
It is possible to win an appeal on a denial letter from HUD, but only if you can prove clearly that they were in the wrong. You can choose to wait until you receive the decision from the Housing Authority, or you can contact your legal aid office and file a lawsuit in Federal District Court for wrongful denial if your case is strong enough. It is a good idea to contact legal aid if you are in this situation to have your documents reviewed for advice and to see if your case has merit.
Adam Luehrs is a writer during the day and a voracious reader at night. He focuses mostly on finance writing and has a passion for real estate, credit card deals, and investing.