Can my disabled brother and I be kicked out of public housing since my mom passed away and the apartment was in her name?

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Can my disabled brother and I be kicked out of public housing since my mom passed away and the apartment was in her name?

We’ve lived here for approximately 13 years. We live in an income based, 3bedroom apartment. I have been unemployed for 1 1/2 years and am seeking SSI due to illness. My brother is considered totally disabled and receives SSI. We have no place to go. I spoke to the housing authority and they stated “We’d give you some time but since the apartment wasn’t in your name, you can’t stay “. I was listed as co-head of household on the lease. Is this legal?

Asked on January 19, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal. Whether or not you were "co-head of household," if your mother was the only person on the lease, she was legally the only tenant and the only one with a right to possession of the apartment. People who are not on the lease have no right to the apartment. Moreover, under the rules for public housing, the landlord may not even have the option of offering you a lease--public housing landlords are often required to give apartments to people on a waiting list for public housing.


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