Housing authority to offer hearings to denied applicants
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The Pittsburgh Housing Authority has agreed to hold hearings at the request of applicants who are denied public housing, thus settling a lawsuit.
Under a consent order submitted in U.S. District Court Thursday, the authority would offer denied applicants a hearing before a neutral person, picked by the authority. The neutral person would decide whether the denial was justified, and the authority would have to respect that decision.
The settlement comes out of a lawsuit filed in February by Brittany Phillips and Eric D. Reed. Ms. Phillips, then 21, was denied public housing when an authority credit check wrongly identified her as a co-defendant in an eviction in a Montgomery County apartment complex, where she never lived, according to the complaint. Mr. Reed, 63, was denied based on a report of an eviction from a rental unit in Wilkinsburg, where he never lived, it said.
The order gives the authority five days to approve the housing applications of Ms. Phillips and Mr. Reed. Also, the authority must pay $11,446 in fees and costs to the Community Justice Project and Neighborhood Legal Services Association, which represented them.
First Published June 4, 2011 12:04 am