607 Concord Senior Hous. v. Morales, 2007 NY Slip Op 51531(U) (N.Y. Civ. Ct. 4/20/2007), L & T 81160/06.

CourtNew York Civil Court
Writing for the CourtJaya K. Madhavan
Citation2007 NY Slip Op 51531
Parties607 CONCORD SENIOR HOUSING, Petitioner, v. MINERVA MORALES, Respondent.
Docket NumberL & T 81160/06.
Decision Date20 April 2007

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2007 NY Slip Op 51531(U)
L & T 81160/06.
Civil Court of the City of New York, Bronx County.
Decided April 20, 2007.

Marybeth Hotaling, Esq., Cohen, Hurkin, Ehrenfeld, et al., Brooklyn, NY, Attorneys for Petitioner.

Clerk of the Court, Minerva Morales, Respondent Pro Se.


This is a summary licensee proceeding in which petitioner seeks to recover possession of Apartment 5B at 607 Concord Avenue, Bronx NY ("Apartment"). Respondent, appearing pro se, defends by claiming that she is entitled to succeed to the tenancy.


The underlying facts were largely uncontested at trial. Respondent's late mother, Frances Morales, was granted admission into 607 Concord Senior Housing, a Section 202 housing project for senior citizens, in June 2004 as she was then 87 years of age. Respondent and her mother moved into the Apartment in June 2004, but the lease and recertification forms reflected only Frances Morales' occupancy. Following Frances Morales' death on November 22, 2005, respondent, then age 53, contacted petitioner's management office on several occasions to be added to her mother's recertification forms and lease. (Resp. Exh. E.) That application was rejected based on what petitioner characterized as respondent's non compliance with "the rules and regulations." (Resp. Exh. C.) This proceeding then ensued.


The Apartment is federally subsidized under the Section 202 program pursuant to a Project Rental Assistance Contract (PRAC). (Pet. Exhs. 8B and 8C.) The purpose of the Section 202 program is to "accommodate the special needs of elderly persons" (12 USC § 1701q[a]) and provide housing for the "very low income elderly." (12 USC § 1701q[d][1].) Thus, "all units assisted under [that] section shall be made available for occupancy by very low-income elderly persons." (12 USC §1701q[d][1].) An elderly person is defined as "an individual who is at least 62 years of age." (12 USC §1701q[k])(1); 24 CFR § 5.214; 24 CFR § 891.205.) To ensure that this class alone benefits from the statute, most premises, as here, are further governed by a regulatory agreement between HUD and the owner under which the latter must "limit occupancy of the project to elderly families and individuals as defined in Section 202 of the Housing Act of 1959, as amended, and applicable HUD regulations." (Pet. Exh. 7.)

Despite this clear framework, respondent contends that although she is not elderly, she is nevertheless entitled to succeed to the Apartment because she lived with the tenant of record since

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the inception of her tenancy in 2004. While there is no serious dispute that respondent has continuously resided in the Apartment since 2004, respondent's claim is still without merit. Significantly, 12 USC § 1701q previously defined "elderly families" to include "the surviving member or members of any family...who were living, in a unit assisted under this section, with the deceased member of the family at the time of his or her death." (12 USC § 1701q[d][4]; Pub.L. 94-375, § 11[b].) However, former subsection (d)(4) was repealed and the statute amended in 1990 to contain a much narrower redefinition of "elderly person" as an "individual who is...

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