The primary objective of this process is to settle grievances at the lowest level and as quickly as possible, and minimize the impact upon the PHA's operations. Except as stated in paragraphs A. and B. above, the PHA's procedures shall afford each resident an opportunity for a hearing on a grievance, in accordance with the requirements, standards, and criteria contained in these procedures, with such modifications as are required by State law. The process for handling grievances is outlined below.
1. Informal Settlement of Grievance
a. Grievances shall be personally presented, either orally or in writing, to the PHA's central office, or to the office of the development in which the complainant resides, so that the grievance may be discussed informally and settled without a hearing. This notice should be given within thirty (30) business days after the occurrence giving rise to the grievance.
b. A summary of such discussion shall be prepared within five (5) business days. One copy shall be given to the resident and one shall be retained in the PHA's resident file. The summary shall specify the names of the participants, dates of the meetings, nature of the complaint, the proposed disposition of the complaint, the specific reasons therefore, and the procedures by which a hearing may be obtained if the resident is not satisfied.
c. The summary shall specify:
- The names of the participants,
- Dates of the meetings,
- The nature of the proposed disposition of the complainant and the specific reasons, therefore,
- The rights of the complainant to a hearing, and
- The procedures by which a hearing may be obtained if the resident is not satisfied.
d. The PHA shall specifically include notice to the complainant of the following:
- The time limit to request a grievance hearing;
- The grievance will be heard by a hearing officer or a hearing panel, and the procedures for selecting the hearing officer or hearing panel;
- What specifically must be included in the complainant's written request for a grievance, as provided in paragraph 1.b of the PHA's Procedures to Obtain a Hearing;
- If the complainant fails to request a hearing within the required time period (5 business days) after receiving the summary, the PHA's decision rendered at the Informal Settlement conference becomes final. However, the complainant does not waive the right to contest the PHA's action in an appropriate judicial proceeding;
- The complainant's rights to be represented by counsel or other representatives at the grievance hearing; and
- The complainant requesting a hearing has a right to examine any PHA documents relevant to the hearing, including records and The complainant shall be allowed to obtain a copy from the PHA of any such documentation at the complainant's expense, as stated in the "Charges in Addition to Rent" schedule.