Eviction from subsidized housing

Your landlord must prove "good cause" to evict you from subsidized housing. Learn what good cause is, how the eviction process works and what you can do to avoid it.

If you cannot pay your rent or are behind on rent, contact your local Community Action Agency as soon as possible. They may have rental assistance available.

This page was last updated on 9.23.21.

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Understanding the Basics

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The eviction process for subsidized housing starts out differently than eviction from other housing. The stakes are different, too. Get evicted from subsidized housing and you might have a hard time getting subsidized housing ever again. It's important to get a lawyer. If you have received an eviction notice or court papers, you should contact your local legal aid immediately.

Your landlord determines "good cause"

In subsidized housing, your landlord has to have a good reason or good cause to evict you. For instance, not paying your rent on time and in full could be good cause to evict you. But if the reason you couldn't pay rent wasn't your fault and you tried to pay rent as soon as you could, the landlord may not have good cause. In subsidized housing, the circumstances matter.  

Here are some other examples of good cause:

  • A material serious violation of your lease
  • Criminal activity by you or someone in your home
  • Illegal drug use or alcohol abuse by you or someone in your home
  • A lot of repeated minor violations of the lease or rules

Your landlord sends you a notice 

If your landlord determines good cause, what happens next depends on what kind of subsidized housing you’re in. 

  • For a Section 8 housing choice voucher, you will get a 3-day notice. 
  • In public housing, it depends on the reason. If the reason is non-payment of rent, you will get a 14-day notice. For most other reasons, you will get a 30-day notice. In any case, the notice will state that you have a right to a grievance hearing.
  • In private multifamily subsidized housing, it depends on the reason. If the reason is "other good cause," you will get a 30-day notice. However, if the reason is for non-payment of rent or a serious violation of your lease, you get a shorter notice. In any case, the notice will state that you have a right to have a meeting with the landlord or management to discuss the eviction.

No matter what kind of subsidized housing you’re in, at this point you should contact legal aid for help. Go to our "Find Your Legal Aid" tool to find your local legal aid.

Request a grievance hearing or meeting with management

This applies if you live in public housing or private multifamily subsidized housing. If you have a Section 8 housing choice voucher, skip to the next section.

After you receive your notice, you have the right to ask for a grievance hearing or a meeting with management. Do so right away, in writing.

A grievance hearing will be more formal, while a meeting with management won't be. Either way, contact legal aid for help. 

Your landlord files a formal eviction 

If you lose or don't ask for a grievance hearing or meeting, your landlord can file a formal eviction in court. 

Find out what happens after an eviction case is filed against you in court.

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