The Housing Choice Voucher Program provides low-income families with federally funded rental assistance. In order to receive rental assistance, tenants and landlords must maintain units in compliance with the Housing Quality Standards promulgated by the United States Housing Act. A failure by either party to comply with the Housing Quality Standards results in a termination of the federal funding. Unfortunately for voucher recipients, this means that they can be stripped of their rental assistance through no fault of their own. To remedy this situation, many tenants have tried to bring an action against their landlord, alleging a violation of the Housing Quality Standards under the United States Housing Act. Courts have routinely dismissed such claims, however, ruling that there is no private right of action under the Housing Act to enforce the Housing Quality Standards. This Note focuses on the factors that support a private right of action for voucher participants under the Housing Act, and suggests that the statutory language should be amended to expressly provide for such a right.
John M. Lerner,
Private Rights Under the Housing Act: Preserving Rental Assistance for Section 8 Tenants,
B.C.J.L. & Soc. Just.