1. Make a written request
To fight to keep your Section 8 housing voucher, you must request a hearing in writing by the deadline stated in the termination notice and send it or take it to the Housing Authority. You may do this by personal delivery, mail, or any method listed in the termination letter. You should save a copy of the hearing request, proof of mailing, or get a receipt from the Housing Authority.
It is important to try to find legal help as soon as possible after getting notice of a termination. If possible, it is best to have a lawyer at the informal hearing.
2. Gather information on your case
Before you go to your Section 8 termination hearing, discovery will take place. Discovery is a chance for you to find out information that will be used at the hearing.
After you request a hearing, you must be given a chance to look at any evidence that will be used to try to take away your voucher. You need to ask the housing authority to see the evidence before the hearing.
As part of the discovery process, the housing authority might ask you to see your evidence before the hearing. In this case, you must give the housing authority all evidence that will be used at the hearing. You can also ask the housing authority questions before the hearing.
3. Go to your hearing
You must be at the hearing on time, with all evidence and witnesses that will be used to defend against the termination. You must show all evidence to the housing authority at the hearing. You must say all the reasons the voucher should not be taken away at the hearing.
The hearing officer will generally not tell you the final decision at the hearing. A decision will be sent later in the mail.
There is only one informal hearing for a Section 8 voucher termination. It is important to treat the informal hearing very seriously. It may be the only chance to defend against termination.
4. Wait for your decision
You will usually get a written decision within 10 days after the hearing. The notice will state if and when the voucher will be terminated and reasons why.
If the hearing officer or panel rejects your defense, then your Section 8 voucher may be terminated. Once the voucher is terminated, rental payments by the Housing Authority to the landlord will end. You will then be responsible to pay the entire rent amount. If unable to pay the rent, you can be evicted.
If you are terminated from the Section 8 voucher program, you might not be able to get Section 8 again in the future. Being terminated from Section 8 might also make it harder to get into public housing or other subsidized housing.
Updated: February 2018