(a) General. Assistance to a family may not be delayed, denied, reduced or terminated because of the immigration status of a family member except as provided in this section.
(b) Restrictions on delay, denial, reduction or termination of assistance -
(1) Restrictions on reduction, denial or termination of assistance for applicants and tenants. Assistance to an applicant or tenant shall not be delayed, denied, reduced, or terminated, on the basis of ineligible immigration status of a family member if:
(i) The primary and secondary verification of any immigration documents that were timely submitted has not been completed;
(ii) The family member for whom required evidence has not been submitted has moved from the assisted dwelling unit;
(iii) The family member who is determined not to be in an eligible immigration status following INS verification has moved from the assisted dwelling unit;
(iv) The INS appeals process under § 5.514(e) has not been concluded;
(v) Assistance is prorated in accordance with § 5.520; or
(2) Restrictions on delay, denial, reduction or termination of assistance pending fair hearing for tenants. In addition to the factors listed in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, assistance to a tenant cannot be delayed, denied, reduced or terminated until the completion of the informal hearing described in paragraph (f) of this section.
(c) Events causing denial or termination of assistance -
(1) General. Assistance to an applicant shall be denied, and a tenant's assistance shall be terminated, in accordance with the procedures of this section, upon the occurrence of any of the following events:
(i) Evidence of citizenship (i.e., the declaration) and eligible immigration status is not submitted by the date specified in § 5.508(g) or by the expiration of any extension granted in accordance with § 5.508(h);
(ii) Evidence of citizenship and eligible immigration status is timely submitted, but INS primary and secondary verification does not verify eligible immigration status of a family member; and
(A) The family does not pursue INS appeal or informal hearing rights as provided in this section; or
(B) INS appeal and informal hearing rights are pursued, but the final appeal or hearing decisions are decided against the family member; or
(iii) The responsible entity determines that a family member has knowingly permitted another individual who is not eligible for assistance to reside (on a permanent basis) in the public or assisted housing unit of the family member. Such termination shall be for a period of not less than 24 months. This provision does not apply to a family if the ineligibility of the ineligible individual was considered in calculating any proration of assistance provided for the family.
(2) Termination of assisted occupancy. For termination of assisted occupancy, see paragraph (i) of this section.
(d) Notice of denial or termination of assistance. The notice of denial or termination of assistance shall advise the family:
(1) That financial assistance will be denied or terminated, and provide a brief explanation of the reasons for the proposed denial or termination of assistance;
(2) That the family may be eligible for proration of assistance as provided under § 5.520;
(4) That the family has a right to request an appeal to the INS of the results of secondary verification of immigration status and to submit additional documentation or a written explanation in support of the appeal in accordance with the procedures of paragraph (e) of this section;
(5) That the family has a right to request an informal hearing with the responsible entity either upon completion of the INS appeal or in lieu of the INS appeal as provided in paragraph (f) of this section;
(6) For applicants, the notice shall advise that assistance may not be delayed until the conclusion of the INS appeal process, but assistance may be delayed during the pendency of the informal hearing process.
(e) Appeal to the INS -
(1) Submission of request for appeal. Upon receipt of notification by the responsible entity that INS secondary verification failed to confirm eligible immigration status, the responsible entity shall notify the family of the results of the INS verification, and the family shall have 30 days from the date of the responsible entity's notification, to request an appeal of the INS results. The request for appeal shall be made by the family communicating that request in writing directly to the INS. The family must provide the responsible entity with a copy of the written request for appeal and proof of mailing.
(2) Documentation to be submitted as part of appeal to INS. The family shall forward to the designated INS office any additional documentation or written explanation in support of the appeal. This material must include a copy of the INS document verification request form G-845S (used to process the secondary verification request) or such other form specified by the INS, and a cover letter indicating that the family is requesting an appeal of the INS immigration status verification results.
(3) Decision by INS -
(i) When decision will be issued. The INS will issue to the family, with a copy to the responsible entity, a decision within 30 days of its receipt of documentation concerning the family's appeal of the verification of immigration status. If, for any reason, the INS is unable to issue a decision within the 30 day time period, the INS will inform the family and responsible entity of the reasons for the delay.
(ii) Notification of INS decision and of informal hearing procedures. When the responsible entity receives a copy of the INS decision, the responsible entity shall notify the family of its right to request an informal hearing on the responsible entity's ineligibility determination in accordance with the procedures of paragraph (f) of this section.
(4) No delay, denial, reduction, or termination of assistance until completion of INS appeal process; direct appeal to INS. Pending the completion of the INS appeal under this section, assistance may not be delayed, denied, reduced or terminated on the basis of immigration status.
(f) Informal hearing -
(1) When request for hearing is to be made. After notification of the INS decision on appeal, or in lieu of request of appeal to the INS, the family may request that the responsible entity provide a hearing. This request must be made either within 30 days of receipt of the notice described in paragraph (d) of this section, or within 30 days of receipt of the INS appeal decision issued in accordance with paragraph (e) of this section.
(2) Informal hearing procedures -
(i) Tenants assisted under a Section 8 covered program: For tenants assisted under a Section 8 covered program, the procedures for the hearing before the responsible entity are set forth in:
(A) For Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation assistance: 24 CFR part 882;
(B) For Section 8 tenant-based assistance: 24 CFR part 982; or
(C) For Section 8 project-based certificate program: 24 CFR part 983.
(ii) Tenants assisted under any other Section 8 covered program or a Public Housing covered program: For tenants assisted under a Section 8 covered program not listed in paragraph (f)(3)(i) of this section or a Public Housing covered program, the procedures for the hearing before the responsible entity are set forth in 24 CFR part 966.
(iii) Families under Housing covered programs and applicants for assistance under all covered programs. For all families under Housing covered programs (applicants as well as tenants already receiving assistance) and for applicants for assistance under all covered programs, the procedures for the informal hearing before the responsible entity are as follows:
(A) Hearing before an impartial individual. The family shall be provided a hearing before any person(s) designated by the responsible entity (including an officer or employee of the responsible entity), other than a person who made or approved the decision under review, and other than a person who is a subordinate of the person who made or approved the decision;
(B) Examination of evidence. The family shall be provided the opportunity to examine and copy at the individual's expense, at a reasonable time in advance of the hearing, any documents in the possession of the responsible entity pertaining to the family's eligibility status, or in the possession of the INS (as permitted by INS requirements), including any records and regulations that may be relevant to the hearing;
(C) Presentation of evidence and arguments in support of eligible status. The family shall be provided the opportunity to present evidence and arguments in support of eligible status. Evidence may be considered without regard to admissibility under the rules of evidence applicable to judicial proceedings;
(D) Controverting evidence of the responsible entity. The family shall be provided the opportunity to controvert evidence relied upon by the responsible entity and to confront and cross-examine all witnesses on whose testimony or information the responsible entity relies;
(E) Representation. The family shall be entitled to be represented by an attorney, or other designee, at the family's expense, and to have such person make statements on the family's behalf;
(F) Interpretive services. The family shall be entitled to arrange for an interpreter to attend the hearing, at the expense of the family, or responsible entity, as may be agreed upon by the two parties to the proceeding; and
(G) Hearing to be recorded. The family shall be entitled to have the hearing recorded by audiotape (a transcript of the hearing may, but is not required to, be provided by the responsible entity).
(3) Hearing decision. The responsible entity shall provide the family with a written final decision, based solely on the facts presented at the hearing, within 14 days of the date of the informal hearing. The decision shall state the basis for the decision.
(g) Judicial relief. A decision against a family member, issued in accordance with paragraphs (e) or (f) of this section, does not preclude the family from exercising the right, that may otherwise be available, to seek redress directly through judicial procedures.
(h) Retention of documents. The responsible entity shall retain for a minimum of 5 years the following documents that may have been submitted to the responsible entity by the family, or provided to the responsible entity as part of the INS appeal or the informal hearing process:
(1) The application for financial assistance;
(2) The form completed by the family for income reexamination;
(3) Photocopies of any original documents (front and back), including original INS documents;
(4) The signed verification consent form;
(5) The INS verification results;
(6) The request for an INS appeal;
(7) The final INS determination;
(8) The request for an informal hearing; and
(9) The final informal hearing decision.
(i) Termination of assisted occupancy.
(1) Under Housing covered programs, and in the Section 8 covered programs other than the Section 8 Rental Certificate, Rental Voucher, and Moderate Rehabilitation programs, assisted occupancy is terminated by:
(i) If permitted under the lease, the responsible entity notifying the tenant that because of the termination of assisted occupancy the tenant is required to pay the HUD-approved market rent for the dwelling unit.
(ii) The responsible entity and tenant entering into a new lease without financial assistance.
(iii) The responsible entity evicting the tenant. While the tenant continues in occupancy of the unit, the responsible entity may continue to receive assistance payments if action to terminate the tenancy under an assisted lease is promptly initiated and diligently pursued, in accordance with the terms of the lease, and if eviction of the tenant is undertaken by judicial action pursuant to State and local law. Action by the responsible entity to terminate the tenancy and to evict the tenant must be in accordance with applicable HUD regulations and other HUD requirements. For any jurisdiction, HUD may prescribe a maximum period during which assistance payments may be continued during eviction proceedings and may prescribe other standards of reasonable diligence for the prosecution of eviction proceedings.
(2) In the Section 8 Rental Certificate, Rental Voucher, and Moderate Rehabilitation programs, assisted occupancy is terminated by terminating assistance payments. (See provisions of this section concerning termination of assistance.) The PHA shall not make any additional assistance payments to the owner after the required procedures specified in this section have been completed. In addition, the PHA shall not approve a lease, enter into an assistance contract, or process a portability move for the family after those procedures have been completed.