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Procedural Due Process and Hearsay Evidence in Section 8 Housing Voucher Termination Hearings

By Margaretta E Homsey


The federal Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program provides critical housing subsidy assistance to over two million low-income families in the United States. Each year some of these families have their Section 8 voucher assistance terminated based solely on uncorroborated hearsay evidence relied on by local public housing authorities to prove various program violations. State and federal courts have reached differing conclusions as to whether these terminations violate families’ procedural due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment and federal regulations governing the program. This Note argues that terminations based solely on hearsay evidence violate procedural due process and the federal regulations. Applying the balancing test laid out by the U.S. Supreme Court in Mathews v. Eldridge in 1976, this Note concludes that Section 8 voucher terminations may not be based solely on hearsay evidence without affording families the right to confront and cross-examine those adverse witnesses who provide the evidence relied on by the housing authority. Further, this Note urges that the federal regulations be amended to make this requirement explicit

Topics: Administrative Law, Evidence, Housing Law
Publisher: Digital Commons @ Boston College Law School
Year: 2010
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