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Old Yesterday, 09:45 AM
5 posts, read 1,167 times
Reputation: 10


Hi everyone I have been reading through this forum but havenít found a response to my question. Although I have found good information about appeals, it feels like people are sort of tight lipped when it comes to what they actually say to have a successful appeal.

Has anyone successfully defended having higher tax returns and a lower current income when appealing?
I have read here about people being successful when they were laid off and started another job or when they retired or when it was just sporadic income like winning a little at the casino. But has anyone won an appeal when their employer simply cut your hours or decided to no longer offer overtime?

Any advice, suggestions or success stories?

Thank you!!
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Old Yesterday, 09:58 AM
Location: Eric Forman's basement
2,002 posts, read 2,140,302 times
Reputation: 1050
Income is calculated several different ways, and the highest amount is used. One of those methods is the prior year's tax return (maybe the prior two years of returns, I don't know).

As far as I can tell, you would have to mount an appeal based on the fact that your income is permanently decreased. It would help if you are employed in an industry, such as publishing, that is contracting.

What you're talking about would fall under the "continuing need" provision. The city and state try to weed out people who take a job that pays less on purpose or otherwise lower their income just to qualify for a housing program.

From the Marketing Handbook, page 55:

5-5 Continuing Need
Eligibility is also dependent on whether the applicant can demonstrate a
“continuing need” for housing assistance. Any City-assisted housing
development aims to serve individuals and families with a true, continuing need
for housing assistance and not those with other financial resources available or
those who have a recent history of higher earning power and are only temporarily
at an income level eligible for the program. In determining “continuing need” for
these programs, the criteria in this section must be satisfied, or the applicant is
not eligible.
Note: HPD and HDC’s property ownership, asset limit, primary residence, and
gift income policies differ from, or are required in addition to, those included in
the HUD Occupancy Handbook 4350.3.

1. In addition to reviewing current income verifications, the Marketing Agent
must evaluate an applicant’s most recent income history based on the
applicant’s most recent tax returns. Unless a compelling argument can be
made as to why an applicant’s income decreased, the highest income of the
sources must be used.
2. Here are examples of continuing need demonstrated in changes to recent
income history:
The maximum income for a single applicant to Plaza Towers is $30,000.

5-5: Continuing Need
Page 56 of 73
Example 1: Mary Smith is an accountant who was laid off by her previous
employer, where her tax return shows she earned $32,000 a year. Her new
employment with a different accounting firm pays her $28,000 a year as
documented by her pay stubs and 3rd party employer letter. In this case, a
compelling argument can be made not to use Mary’s tax return income, even
though that is the highest amount. The change in Mary’s income was not
voluntary and her new job/earnings are generally consistent with her recent
history. The amount from her current pay stubs and 3rd party should therefore
be used, under which she is eligible.
Example 2: John Hower recently quit his job as a college professor, where his
tax return shows he earned $75,000 a year, to pursue other interests. He has
recently started working as a waiter and presently earns $27,000 a year
based on his pay stubs and 3rd party verification. In this case, no exception is
warranted. John has clearly demonstrated a recent history of significantly
higher earning patterns. The change appears to be voluntary and/or
temporary in nature, which is not the intent of City-assisted low-income
housing programs. John is encouraged to apply to our programs in the future,
after a minimum of a full year’s tax returns as well as current verifications may
document a suitable pattern of eligibility.
3. The Marketing Agent may request in writing that the Agency grant an
exception to the above criteria based on extenuating circumstances. The
Agency will consider such requests on a case-by-case basis.

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Old Today, 05:55 AM
5 posts, read 1,167 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you. So as long as I prove it is not voluntary. So if my employer mentioned that her budget only includes x amount for me and wrote my current hours and schedule is that something that would make a successful appeal? Or does she or I I have to go into more detail explaining how my lower salary this year is a result of companies we do business with went into chapter 11 and had a direct negative impact on us and my salary. I am just wondering how much detail do they want or need? It seems I would need the marketing agent to ask for an exception for me...generally so they ever really do that?
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Old Today, 04:17 PM
Location: Eric Forman's basement
2,002 posts, read 2,140,302 times
Reputation: 1050
It’s not that the marketing agent is making an exception for you. It’s that you fulfill the continuing need provision. I’m not sure how much detail you have to go into. Why did the businesses go into chapter 11? Is the whole industry in decline? If so, I suggest you say that. That would indicate it’s a trend and not just a random bad year.

It’s great your boss is willing to go to bat for you. That will make a big difference.

Make sure you use the phrase continuing need. Quote from the handbook as much as possible.
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