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Transfer of Public Housing Residency

Landlord Tenant Law in New York City

The five boroughs of New York City are infamous for having some of the highest rents in the nation. In order to combat this situation, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) provides affordable housing for low to moderate income residents throughout Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island.

When a resident wants to add a new family member on the family composition public property, a number of conditions must be met first. The NYCHA refers to this process as "Occupancy and Succession of a Remaining Family Member." The NYCHA has specific policies set in place to address these types of situations; a summary of the policy can be reviewed below:

Who is eligible to be an authorized family member on an NYCHA lease?

According to the NYCHA, nobody is allowed to live in an apartment building owned by the NYCHA unless they are an authorized family member. When it comes to occupancy, an authorized family member includes:

1) One of the original family members to live there
2) A family member who joined as the family grew
3) A family member who is given the written permission from the development housing manager to live in the home

If a family member decides to move out of the apartment, he or she cannot return. They must first receive written permission from the NYCHA before they return to the apartment.

About Succeeding an NYCHA Lease

There will be times when a primary resident will want to put a new family member down as the primary resident on the lease to the apartment; the NYCHA refers to this process as "succession," which essentially means transferring or handing down the rights of the lease to another family member. A tenancy typically ends because of one of two scenarios: the resident moves out or they pass away.

Who can take over an apartment in an NYCHA lease?

An individual can succeed to an NYCHA lease providing he or she qualifies as a Remaining Family Member (RFM) and is otherwise eligible to acquire an NYCHA apartment. An individual qualifies as an RFM providing he or she was an authorized family member during the course of the tenancy, and this includes:

  • The family member lived there originally
  • The individual was added to the family as it grew
  • The individual sought out and was given the written permission of the development housing manager for them to live there permanently
  • The person stayed in the apartment on a continual basis on all affidavits of income

For individuals who received written permission from the development housing manager on or after November 24, 2002, the RFM claimant must have lived in the apartment from the date the permission was granted in writing for no less than one full year immediately prior to the date the tenant either moved out of the apartment or died.

Otherwise Eligible Family Members

A remaining family member (RFM) is able to take over and reside in an NYCHA apartment providing that they meet the qualifications. The remaining family member must possess the legal capacity to sign a lease, and that they must have a clean criminal record. Additionally, the remaining family member (RFM) or one or more of their family members must have verifiable income on which rent can be calculated. Lastly, any RFM's who qualify under these standards are required to move to another apartment that is considered the correct size according to the Occupancy Standards of the NYCHA.

Legal Representation at a Grievance Hearing

On occasion, the development housing manager may deny an occupancy permission request. Once a tenancy has ended, a Remaining Family Member (RFM) has the right to request an RFM grievance hearing if he or she was not granted a lease to the apartment. The grievance hearing is a three-step process, it involves a formal hearing with the grievance hearing manager and then the manager will review their decision. Lastly, if the RFM provided evidence to support his or her claim to succession yet he or she was still denied the lease, then the claimant has the right to file an appeal with the Impartial Hearing Office for an administrative grievance hearing.

With all grievance hearings, the burden of proof is on the RFM claimant to demonstrate that he or she is eligible to take over the NYCHA lease. Considering the fact that New York City rents are exorbitant, many people cannot afford to live and work in the City without living in affordable housing; therefore, enlisting the services of a New York City landlord tenant lawyer to help you can prove invaluable.

Transfer Your Public Housing under an NYCHA Lease

At The Law Offices of Tamara J. Jordan P.L.L.C., we are very familiar with the New York Housing Authority and grievance hearings. We can inform you of your rights and responsibilities, and we can help you gather all the necessary documentation to support your case at the grievance hearing. We understand how important it is that the lease to the NYCHA apartment is transferred to you, and we would take great pleasure in helping make that goal a reality.

Contact a landlord tenant attorney in NYC from our firm today for the legal representation you need and deserve.

How You Can Benefit From Hiring Us

  • Founding attorney, Tamara I. Jordan, has over 18 years' experience that she utilizes on her clients' behalf.

  • 100% client driven and relentlessly pursues justice for each person that comes to us for help.

  • Won notable victories for countless clients, both through settlement and litigation.