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Chapter 12 TRANSFER POLICY INTRODUCTION This chapter explains the PHA’s transfer policy, based on HUD regulations, HUD guidance, and PHA policy decisions. This chapter describes HUD regulations and PHA policies related to transfers in four parts: Part I: Transfers. This part provides an overview of Transfers.. Part II: Emergency Transfers. This part describes emergency transfers and emergency transfer procedures. Part III: Non-Emergency Transfers. This part describes types of transfers that may be required by the PHA, requested by the residents, eligibility requirements, and processing. The PHA may require the tenant to move from the unit under some circumstances. There are also emergency circumstances under which alternate accommodations for the tenant must be provided that may or may not require a transfer. The tenant may also request a transfer, such as a request for a new unit as a reasonable accommodation. The PHA must have specific policies in place to deal with acceptable transfer requests.

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PART I: TRANSFERS 12-I.A. OVERVIEW The PHA does not transfer any family to any particular apartment, community, neighborhood or development because of race, color, sex, religion (creed), disability, familial status, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, source of income, or age. Site managers shall administer occupancy transfers in such a manner as to minimize vacancy loss, minimize the time families are over housed or under housed (as determined under the PHA’s occupancy guidelines), and still provide housing opportunities for new admissions. Transfers, whether to a PHA owned unit or to non-PHA owned accommodations, shall not be deemed to waive an existing breach of the Rental Agreement by the Resident; and the PHA may pursue, or continue to pursue, any legal action and remedy against the Resident as if no transfer had been made.

12-I.B. TYPES OF TRANSFERS There are two types of transfers, Emergency and Non-Emergency. Depending on the reasons for transfer, each transfer may also be required or requested.

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PART II: EMERGENCY TRANSFERS 12-II.A. EMERGENCY TRANSFERS The following is considered an emergency circumstance warranting an immediate transfer of the tenant or family: Maintenance Conditions Maintenance conditions in the resident’s unit, building or at the site that pose an immediate, verifiable threat to the life, health or safety of the resident or family members that cannot be repaired or abated within 24 hours, make the unit uninhabitable and were not caused by the resident family or their guest. Examples of an uninhabitable unit may include a unit affected by a flood, fire, and natural disaster. Verified Medical Condition To alleviate a doctor verified medical condition which is imminently life threatening or seriously impairs the health of the Resident or a Household Member (i.e. lead poisoning or amputation); or Threat of Real and Imminent Criminal Attack To protect a Resident or a Household Member from a factually verifiable or documented threat of real and imminent criminal attack that is specifically directed towards that Resident, Household Member or other occupant of the Residence. In making such a determination, the Executive Director or designee may consider facts and circumstances including, but not limited to, recommendations by the District Attorney or a sworn peace officer with a rank equivalent to an SFPD Detective II or higher attesting to the factual need for a transfer.

If the dwelling unit is damaged to the extent that conditions are created which are hazardous to life, health, or safety of the occupants, the PHA must offer standard alternative accommodations, if available, where necessary repairs cannot be made within a reasonable time [24 CFR 966.4(h)]. An emergency transfer is a transfer determined at the sole discretion of the Executive Director, or his/her designee and will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

12-II.B. REQUEST AND APPROVAL OF EMERGENCY TRANSFERS SFHA Policy Except as provide below, all emergency transfer requests made by or on behalf of a Resident and all law enforcement recommendations shall be made in writing and submitted to the Property Office or Executive Director. Upon receipt of a request and all other required documentation, the PHA employee in receipt of the request shall immediately forward the relevant paperwork to the Executive Director or his/her designee for a decision. In cases of extreme emergency, verbal requests, verbal recommendations and the verbal rendering of facts may be made directly to the Executive Director or his/her designee by law enforcement upon which the Executive Director or his/her designee may act, provided that verbal assurances from law enforcement that all written documentation supporting the 306 | P a g e San Francisco Housing Authority Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy 2012


transfer will be submitted within 48 hours.

12-II.C. EMERGENCY TRANSFER LOCATIONS SFHA Policy The PHA shall have sole discretion in determining whether an emergency transfer shall be a temporary housing accommodation and whether the transfer is permanent.

12-II.D. EMERGENCY TRANSFER PLACEMENT SFHA Policy Emergency transfers have priority over all other transfers. Those approved for an emergency transfer shall be concurrently offered three units, if available, of suitable bedroom size at three different developments. The developments containing the units offered, shall be those with the most vacancies that meet the family’s bedroom requirements, except units within the development that the family currently occupies shall not be offered or counted as being offered. The family will have no more than three business days to inspect the units and accept an offer. Should the family fail to affirmatively accept one of the three offers, the Resident will be deemed to have rejected all offers and the PHA shall have no further obligation to offer additional units.

12-II.E. EMERGENCY CAUSED BY RESIDENT, HOUSEHOLD MEMBER, OR GUEST OF RESIDENT’S FAMILY If the PHA determines that the Resident, Household Member, or a guest of the Resident’s family created or caused the emergency, the Resident shall reimburse the PHA for any and all costs connected with the move.

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PART III: NON-EMERGENCY TRANSFERS 12-III.A. OVERVIEW HUD regulations regarding transfers are minimal, leaving it up to the PHA to develop reasonable transfer policies. SFHA Policy A non-emergency transfer is any transfer other than an emergency transfer, and which the Rental Agreement and this policy authorize. Such transfers are those: Required by the PHA to adjust unit occupancy in accordance with the PHA’s Occupancy Guidelines; Required due to an approved reasonable accommodation request; Required by the PHA due to proposed demolition, repair, alteration, rehabilitation or modernization of the unit; Otherwise required by law Requested by a Resident for employment reasons rationally related to the transfer and duly verified by the applicable Resident’s or Household Member’s employer; Requested by a Resident for verified medical reasons other than those subject to the PHA’s policies regarding reasonable accommodations;

12-III.B. PROCEDURE TO REQUEST A TRANSFER SFHA Policy All Resident requested transfers shall be in writing and submitted to the site management office on a designated form. The PHA will accept all Resident requested non-emergency transfer for placement on the appropriate transfer list. However, residents are not eligible for transfer during the initial term of a lease or while the Resident is under the threat of eviction or owes the PHA money. The Asset Management Director may waive the one year residency requirement to reduce vacancies. 12-III.C. NON-EMERGENCY TRANSFER OPTIONS SFHA Policy Transfers required by the PHA are mandatory for the tenant.

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All non-emergency transfers will be based on unit availability. Unless agreed to by the PHA in writing and at the time of the transfer, all non-emergency transfers shall be permanent. 12-IV.D. NON-EMERGENCY TRANSFER LIST PRIORITY AND PLACEMENT SFHA Policy Except as required or limited by law, the priority of transfers shall be: Those required as a result of demolition, disposition repair, alteration, rehabilitation or modernization of units and then by those requested to alleviate medical conditions.

Required transfer when a family is initially given an accessible unit, but does not require the accessible features, the PHA may require the family to agree to move to a nonaccessible unit when it becomes available [24 CFR 8.27(b)]. Required transfers shall have priority over requested transfers. Required transfers shall have precedence over new admissions. Required transfers shall be placed on the transfer list in order of the date and time that Management first determines the transfer is required. Resident requested transfers, which meet the prerequisite requirements, shall be placed on the transfer list in order of the date and time the PHA accepts the Resident’s requests. The transfer list shall be current at all times for requested and required transfers, except transfers adjusting occupancy which the PHA shall update at the time of the annual review or recertification.

12-IV.E. TRANSFER APPROVALS SFHA Policy Required Non-Emergency Transfers When the Resident reaches the top of a site transfer list, a vacancy exists at the site, and the site manager at the site where the unit exists determines that the PHA will fill such vacancy by transfer, that site manager shall offer to transfer the Resident to the unit. Should the Resident refuse to transfer, the PHA will seek to terminate the Resident’s tenancy in accordance with the Rental Agreement.

When a non-accessible unit becomes available, the PHA will transfer a family living in an accessible unit that does not require the accessible features, to an available unit that is not accessible. The PHA may wait until a disabled resident requires the accessible unit before transferring the family that does not require the accessible features out of the accessible unit. 309 | P a g e San Francisco Housing Authority Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy 2012


Resident Requested Non-Emergency Transfers When the Resident reaches the top of a site transfer list, a vacancy exists at the site, and the site manager where the unit exists determines that the PHA will fill such vacancy by a transfer, that site manager shall review the Resident’s documented tenant history only over the immediately preceding twelve months. The site manager shall approve the transfer unless the Resident: Or any Household Member has a record of creating a nuisance, disturbing any other resident or interfering with staff; Currently owes back rent or other charges; Has a poor payment record (a “poor payment record” means the Resident has failed to pay all rent on or before the fifth of each and every month or has failed to pay all charges when due); or Has failed a housekeeping inspection. Should the site manager approve the transfer, the PHA will offer the Resident the unit. If the Resident accepts the offer, the Resident will be dropped from all transfer lists. Should the Resident refuse to accept the unit the PHA will skip over the Resident without affecting the Resident’s placement on the transfer list. However, if the Resident refuses a second offer made at that particular site, the Resident shall be dropped from that site’s transfer list. If the transfer is denied, the PHA will drop the Resident from that site’s transfer list. Within ten (10) business days after disapproving the transfer, the PHA shall notify the Resident in writing as to the reasons for the disapproval and the action taken. Additionally, such notice shall inform the Resident of their rights to grieve the PHA’s decision in accordance with the PHA’s grievance policy. A resident may only be transferred once every five years. (Emergency transfers are exempt from this rule.)

12-IV.F. OCCUPANCY STANDARDS TRANSFERS The PHA may require a resident to move when a reexamination indicates that there has been a change in family composition, and the family is either overcrowded or over-housed according to PHA policy [24 CFR 960.257(a)(4)]. On some occasions, the PHA may initially place a resident in an inappropriately sized unit at lease-up, where the family is over-housed, to prevent vacancies. The public housing lease must include the tenant’s agreement to transfer to an appropriately sized unit based on family composition [24 CFR 966.4(c)(3)]. SFHA Policy The PHA will transfer a family when the family size has changed and the family is now 310 | P a g e San Francisco Housing Authority Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy 2012


too large (overcrowded) or too small (over-housed) for the unit occupied. For purposes of the transfer policy, overcrowded and over-housed are defined as follows: Overcrowded: the number of household members exceeds the maximum number of persons allowed for the unit size in which the family resides, according to the chart in Section 5-I.B. Over-housed: the family no longer qualifies for the bedroom size in which they are living based on the PHA’s occupancy standards as described in Section 5-I.B. The PHA may also transfer a family who was initially placed in a unit in which the family was over-housed to a unit of an appropriate size based on the PHA’s occupancy standards, when the PHA determines there is a need for the transfer. A family that is required to move because of family size will be advised by the PHA that a transfer is necessary and that the family has been placed on the transfer list. Families that request and are granted an exception to the occupancy standards (for either a larger or smaller size unit) in accordance with the policies in Section 5-I.C. will only be required to transfer if it is necessary to comply with the approved exception. Within thirty days of a Household Member ceasing to reside within the Residence, a Resident shall report such occurrence to the PHA.

12-IV.G. DEMOLITION, DISPOSITION, REVITALIZATIONS, or REHABILITATION TRANSFERS These transfers permit the PHA to demolish, sell or do major capital or rehabilitation work at a building site [PH Occ GB, page 148]. SFHA Policy The PHA will relocate a family when the unit or site in which the family lives is undergoing major rehabilitation that requires the unit to be vacant, or the unit is being disposed of or demolished. The PHA’s relocation plan may or may not require transferring affected families to other available public housing units. If the relocation plan calls for transferring public housing families to other public housing units, affected families will be placed on the transfer list. In cases of revitalization or rehabilitation, the family may be offered a temporary relocation if allowed under Relocation Act provisions, and may be allowed to return to their unit, depending on contractual and legal obligations, once revitalization or rehabilitation is complete.

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