Matter of Grant v. NYC Housing Authority, 106199/11
NEW YORK COUNTY
Justice Doris Ling-Cohan
Tenant Grant moved for reversal of the New York City Housing Authority's (NYCHA) decisions sustaining charges of non-desirability and breach of rules against her, and terminating her tenancy. After a search of the apartment pursuant to a search warrant, officers recovered a firearm and observed marijuana in plain view. Hearing Officer Pannell sustained the charges of non-desirability and breach of rules after an administrative hearing, and recommended termination of Grant's 23 year tenancy. The court noted the First Department in Perez v. Rhea held that punishment of termination, even where the tenant physically confronted and accosted a housing authority representative, was drastically disproportionate to the offense, given the tenant's long, unblemished tenancy. The court found Grant was the single mother of five children, two of whom were minors, and lived in the subject premises for 23 years without incident. Also, Grant was not present during the search, not charged with any crime, noting aside from this one incident, there were no allegations or evidence Grant presented any problems to the NYCHA in her 23 year tenancy. Thus, given Grant's unblemished record, long-time residency and minor children, the decision shocked the conscience, and was vacated.