Housing Authority of Paducah

Housing Authority of Paducah - Anderson

Transfer Policy & Procedure

1.0 Introduction

Transfer Policy & Procedure

In accordance with the Admissions and Occupancy Policy (“A & O Policy”), this procedure describes the method by which residents of the Housing Authority may be transferred from one PHA unit to another, and when such moves take precedence over new admissions.

As stated in the A & O Policy, “There are three types of transfers: Emergency, Administrative (categories 1, 2 and 3), Incentive Transfers.” Emergency, Administrative Categories 1 and 2 and Incentive transfers take priority over new admissions and category 3 Administrative transfers.

Emergency and Category 1 and 2 Administrative Transfers are mandatory and refusal to accept such an Emergency or Administrative transfer is grounds for termination of the lease. The requirement to accept mandatory transfers is subject to the Grievance Procedure. 

2.0 Definition of Transfer Categories

2.1  Emergency Transfers: Transfers that are required by PHA because the condition of a resident’s unit or building poses an immediate threat to life, health or safety as determined either by PHA or by a legal proceeding (examples include fire, flood, lack of heat or water, code violations or elevated blood lead levels) and other situations that represent an immediate threat to a resident’s life, health or safety as described below.

2.2  Administrative Transfers: Transfers that may be required by PHA for the following reasons, described in further detail in section 4.2 of this Procedure:

Category 1:

a. To make reasonable accommodations for a resident with a disability;

b. To relocate residents for demolition, consolidation, rehabilitation, court order, or required conversion to tenant-based assistance;

c. To alleviate threat of attack by criminal elements, hate crimes, and/or to remove residents from situations involving domestic violence;

Category 2:

a. To place families in units of the correct size for their family, including defining situations in which overcrowded families will qualify for family splits.

This will include transfers because families are in units have more than two persons per bedroom (seriously overcrowded), or fewer residents than the number of bedrooms (seriously over-housed), as described in the Occupancy Standards of the Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy.

Category 3:

a. To avoid concentrations of the most economically and socially deprived families; 

b. To place families in units of the correct size for their family, including transfers because the number, sex and relationship of family members would qualify them for a transfer under PHA’s Occupancy Standards, but when there are not more than two persons per bedroom nor fewer than one person per bedroom.

c. To address neighbor disputes that are not criminal but interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of the unit or common areas. 

2.3 Incentive Transfers: Non-mandatory transfers available to residents who qualify to new or modernized units. 

3.0 Priority for Transfers and Admissions

When making offers of vacant units, the priority for transfers and admission is as follows:

  1. Emergency Transfers
  2. Category 1 Administrative Transfers
  3. Category 2 Administrative
  4. Incentive Transfers
  5. Admissions
  6. Category 3 Administrative Transfers at the rate of one transfer for every four admissions. 

4.0 Priority for Transfers within each Transfer Categories

Within transfer categories the following order of offers applies:    

4.1  Mandatory Emergency Transfers, required by HAP because

  • the condition of a resident’s unit or building, or
  • any disability or medical condition of a resident family member related to unit condition,or
  • any crime, domestic violence or other situation related to the unit or location

poses an immediate threat to life, health or safety as determined either by HAP or by a legal proceeding, will be made in order based on date of emergency determination.

When the threat is related to crime or domestic violence, a threat assessment from a law enforcement agency is required to document the life threatening nature of the problem.

Families that need emergency transfers have first rights to any vacant ready unit that has not already been offered and accepted. They are required to move to the first unit offered, although if Section 8 vouchers are available, they may move with a Voucher. Families wishing to use a voucher to relocate because of an Emergency situation must be able to find a qualifying unit in 30 days or accept a public housing transfer.

4.2  Category 1 Administrative Transfers: By subcategory in the following order, then sorted by date of HAP determination within each subcategory. Families have rights to vacant ready units in the order presented below:

  1. Mandatory Transfers to make Reasonable accommodation for a resident with a disability: Required under Section 504, these transfers would include transferring residents to accessible, adaptable or modified units or to sites where conditions are documented to be more favorable for their disability than the site from which they are transferring, as well as transferring families that are living in accessible/adaptable units but do not need the features of the units out of those units to permit a family that does need the features of the unit to move in; HAP will incur all transfer expenses. 
  2. Mandatory Transfers for Relocation: These transfers include both temporary and permanent transfers out of units to be demolished or rehabilitated and back into units that have been developed or rehabilitated. The order for these transfers shall conform to the priorities established for Relocation.

    This transfer category includes relocation contract split family transfers. The need and qualification for these transfers would be documented before a family moves out of a unit to be demolished or rehabilitated or before a family moves back to a unit that has been redeveloped or rehabilitated. For splitting families to qualify for right of return, all the following must be true: 

    The person who will be the head, co-head or spouse of the splitting family must have been in occupancy as an authorized resident; and
    The original family must be overcrowded; and
    The overcrowding must have resulted from the addition of children to the
    household by birth, adoption or court awarded custody. 

    In addition, the head of the splitting family must be able to pass HAP’s criminal history screening, which would be determined in the lease compliance review conducted before they leave or before they return. 

    Note that the presence of an adult family member does not automatically qualify a family for a split family transfer. Rather, the three elements above must be present.

  3. Mandatory Transfers to Alleviate Threats from criminal elements and domestic violence: By definition these are matters that are less than life threatening (otherwise, they would be Emergencies). The documentation required to justify placing a family in this transfer category is a credible threat assessment from a law enforcement agency;
  4. Mandatory Transfers to permit unit modernization: These transfers will be made to permit HAP to make major repairs to units or rehabilitate units, such as at Senior Buildings; 

4.3 Category 2 Administrative Transfers: 

1. Mandatory Transfers for Split Families and Over or Under Housing: These transfers are required for families who are seriously overcrowded or over-housed, considering the number of people in their families/households listed on their lease in accordance with the Bedroom Size and Unit Standards.

In summary, every bedroom must be occupied by at least one person and no more than two people, except if a bedroom is large enough to support occupancy by more than two persons or if a resident requires an additional bedroom as a reasonable accommodation to their verified disability.

A family is considered seriously overcrowded if there are more than two family members over the age of four years per bedroom.

A family is considered seriously over-housed if there are more bedrooms than family members.

The order in which transfers in this subcategory should be made is first by families that are the most over-housed (e.g. a single adult in a four bedroom unit) and then the most overcrowded (expressed by number of persons per bedroom). The reason for taking those over-housed first is to free up units for overcrowded families.

Among overcrowding situations are those that qualify for split family transfers. For a family to qualify for a split family transfer, all the following must be true:

  • The family must be overcrowded (more than 2 persons per bedroom); and
  • The overcrowding must have resulted from births, adoptions or court awarded
  • custody of children to a family member on the lease; and
  • The adult who would become the head of the ‘splitting family’ must be able to pass PHA’s criminal history screening (once the lease provision requiring a criminal history check of all adults at each recert is implemented, this process will be streamlined).

As with the Relocation Rights split family transfers, note that the mere presence of an adult with or without children other than the family head or spouse is not sufficient to justify a split family transfer.

4.4 Category 3 Administrative Transfers: By subcategory in the following order, then sorted by date of HAP determination within each subcategory. Families have rights to vacant ready units in the order presented below: 

  1. Voluntary Transfers for Split Families and Over or Under Housing: These transfers are required for families who are overcrowded or over-housed, but not seriously overcrowded or over-housed, considering the number of people in their families/households listed on their lease in accordance with the Bedroom Size and Unit Standards in Section IV.A. of the A & O Policy. 
    This category of family would include overcrowded families where two children of opposite sex over age 4 are sharing a bedroom, where two persons of different generations over age 4 are sharing a bedroom, but where there are no more than two persons per bedroom.
    Also included under this category would be over-housed families where two children of the same age are not sharing a bedroom or where two persons living as spouses each have a bedroom (unrelated to any disability) but where there are not more bedrooms than family members.
  2. Transfers to correct or avoid concentration of the most economically and socially deprived families;
  3. Transfers to address situations such as neighbor disputes that interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of the unit or common areas. 

4.5 Incentive Transfers: 

Voluntary transfers of lease compliant families into new or rehabilitated units. 

5.0 Qualifying for Transfers – Lease Compliant Residents:

5.1  Families that reside in buildings that qualify them for emergency transfers, that is with unit or overall building condition that pose an immediate threat to their life, health or safety do not have to be lease compliant in order to be transferred. Families that are in the process of having their leases terminated will continue in this process, even if subject to an emergency transfer. An emergency transfer will not stop the lease termination process.

5.2  Families who seek or are required to move other transfers must be lease compliant. An exception to this requirement will be made for Administrative Transfers required by PHA when the transfer will benefit HAP. This exception is established to prevent families who do not wish to transfer from using poor lease compliance to prevent the transfer.

To be lease compliant a resident must:

  • Be current on rent payments or payments on any repayment agreement with no delinquent balances in the past twelve months;
  • Be current on utility payments or payments on any repayment agreement and be able to get utilities turned on in the head of household’s name (when moving to a development with resident-paid utilities);
  • Have no history of criminal activity or disturbances that resulted in lease violation as defined in Section II (Eligibility for Admission) and Section IX (Lease Termination Procedures) as documented by lease violation notices in the resident’s file;
  • Have a good housekeeping record as evinced by the housekeeping inspection reports in the resident’s file.

Residents that cannot pass the lease compliance test may be denied a transfer. HAP’s refusal to transfer is subject to the grievance procedure. 

6.0 Notice Requirements for Transfers

6.1 Emergency Transfers: When feasible, given conditions, HAP0 shall provide the maximum amount of notice, up to 30 days. In general, however, the threat to life, health or safety

posed by unit or building conditions precludes much notice. In no event shall an Emergency Transfer take longer than 30 days.

6.2  Administrative Transfers: Generally these transfers require 30-day notice to residents. The notice requirements to residents subject to the Uniform Relocation Act will be provided. Exceptions to the 30 day notice requirement shall be granted for administrative transfers to move a family in a non-life threatening situations such as documented threat by criminal elements, domestic violence or some medical condition that is not life threatening but may be exacerbated by the unit or location.

6.3  Incentive transfers require 30 days notice unless waived by the Resident.

7.0 Site Selection for Tranferees

7.1  Generally, families who must move under requirements applicable to Emergency or Administrative shall not have a choice of site. Rather, they shall be transferred to the first unit available that is the correct size and type for the family and meets housing quality standards.

7.2  HAP will take into consideration issues of personal safety that might arise when transferring a family to a different building or development. To be considered by HAP, such issues must be documented by a threat assessment. If such safety issues exist, HAP will, to the extent possible, provide the family with an alternative unit.

8.0 New Lease

Every family transferred will execute a new lease for the unit, to which they are transferred, unless the family is in the process of lease termination. For families under lease termination, documentation shall be placed in the file stating the reason for the transfer. Upon resolution of the lease proceedings, if family remains a leaseholder, the lease for the unit shall be executed. Families that receive emergency transfers before temporary relocation or while temporarily relocated shall not lose their rights under the Relocation Rights Contract priorities.

9.0 Cost of Transfers

9.1  HAP will pay the costs for Emergency and Administrative transfers other than those for overcrowded or over-housed families. Residents are responsible for the costs associated with Incentive transfers.

9.2  Cost of transfers includes moving expenses (as defined under the Relocation Rights contracts), utility disconnection and reconnection fees, etc.