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The Los Angeles Housing Authority (HACLA) discovered that Section 8 residents will put up a stiff fight to enjoy the legal rights granted under state and federal laws.
A recent class action settlement preliminarily approved on July 29, 2017 ends a lawsuit charging the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles with decreasing voucher payments, without notifying Section 8 residents in a timely manner as addressed in California and federal statutes. The proposed class action settlement creates a settlement fund between $9 and $9.4 million to distribute in accordance to the agreement reached between the primary plaintiffs and defendant.
According to HACLA class action settlement documents, HACLA neglected to provide Section 8 residents the state and federally mandated one-year notice that informed residents of a decrease in housing benefits. The key issue involved an increase in out of pocket rent expenses that Section 8 residents had to pay. Moreover, the primary plaintiffs asserted that the information received from HACLA did not constitute the content required for a legally binding formal administrative notice. Defense counsel claimed the notices were poorly crafted to the point that residents did not know why they had to pay more out of pocket expenses for rent.
HACLA continues deny all of the allegations. However, the municipal housing agency agreed to the terms of the settlement to avoid the high costs associated with a protracted civil trial.
What You Need To Know About The Los Angeles Housing Authority (HACLA) Class Action Settlement
According to class counsel, eligible injunctive class members “include all HACLA Section 8 beneficiaries who received or may receive notices of a voucher payment standard decrease.” Eligible damages class members “include anyone who was a HACLA voucher participant under Section 8 beginning April 2, 2004 and who paid a higher rent to their landlord than they otherwise would have paid if not for the reduced subsidy in effect from July 1, 2005 through April 30, 2007.” Qualifying class members have until November 29, 2017 to opt out of the class action settlement or dispute any provisions of the agreement. The potential award is up to 11 months of the amount of overpaid rent eligible class members sent to the HACLA. Some class members might receive hundreds of dollars.
The deadline to submit a valid claim form is December 6, 2017. The judge presiding over the class action settlement case Nozzi v. Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, et al., Case No. 2:07-cv-00380-PA-FFM, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has scheduled the final hearing on January 29, 2017. To find out what transpired at the final hearing, visit the class action settlement website www.HACLAClassAction.com. The class action settlement website also presents a list of the lawyers who represent the class and defense counsels, as well as any changes to the potential award.