WHAT IS A FAMILY
CHAPTER 6—ALTERNATE LIVING ARRANGEMENTS
WHAT IS A FAMILY
PENOBSCOT AREA HOUSING DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. CITY OF BREWER
PAHD is a private Maine Corporation organized to provide housing for retarded citizens.
It negotiates to
buy a house in an area zoned for low-density single family residential use under the zoning ordinance.
The occupancy permit is denied because the proposed use of a group home for six adults or older minors,
with about two full time employees, did not meet the single family terms.
The denial is affirmed by the Maine Supreme Court
FAMILY DEFINITION—a single individual doing his own cooking, and living upon the premises as a
single housekeeping unit, or a
collective body of persons doing their own cooking and living together upon
the premises as a separate housekeeping unit in
a domestic relationship based upon birth, marriage, or
other domestic bond as distinguished forma group in a boarding house, lodging house, club, fraternity, or
1--Plaintiffs argue that domestic bond would be met by the bonds the residents formed.
BUT, the concept
of domestic bond implies the existence of traditional household authority, which would include authority
figure(s) charged with regulating the resident’s activities.
Here the staff would not live with the residents, and would serve on a rotating basis.
No central authority
figure residing on the premises.
Where there is no biological or legal relationship, the authority figure is
2—Quality of cohesiveness and permanence.
Here, people would come and go.
The residents would have
no choice over the other occupants.
Stay would on average be less than two years.
3—People should be doing their own housework.
Extensive outside aid detracts from the family nature of
HANN v. HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF EASTON
(USDC, ED PENNSYLVANIA, 1989)
WHETHER THE LOCAL HOUSING AUTHORITY CAN DENY AN APPLICATION FOR
LOW-INCOME HOUSING ASSISTANCE SOLELY ON THE BASIS THAT THE APPLICANTS ARE
Plaintiffs are unmarried but have three children.
PHA’s subsidize rent payments to low income
There is a mass eviction, and when the plaintiffs apply for vouchers, they are rejected.
DEFINITION here is:
two or more persons who will live together in the dwelling and are related by blood,
marriage, or adoption.”
This is a HACE resolution.
HUD has a current family definition, but it is ambiguous.
A past definition, which is proposed by HUD but not passed by Congress, states that family means 1-two or
more persons sharing residency whose income and resources are available to meet the families needs and
who are either related by bloodmarriage or operation of law, or have evidenced a stable family relationship.