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Public Housing

Landlord/Tenant Tutorial for Judges in New Mexico

How does landlord-tenant law apply to public housing?

Public housing refers to a variety of federal housing programs, such as the “Section 8” program, designed to provide affordable housing for low-income people. Public housing is also referred to as subsidized or low-income housing.

In general, state landlord-tenant law applies to public housing. There are, however, some additional rights and limitations placed on public housing tenants. Because of the variety of public housing programs, only a few of the differences that may exist between the rights of private and public housing tenants are listed here:

  • In public housing, a tenant may only be evicted for “good cause.” Good cause is usually a major lease violation, such as non-payment of rent, or repeated minor lease violations, such as loud parties.
  • In some public housing programs, tenants have additional rights, such as more time in an eviction notice, a right to comment or have a grievance hearing before an eviction lawsuit is brought, and a right to have the eviction approved by a housing authority before an eviction suit is brought.
  • In addition to rights granted under New Mexico law, public housing tenants may have grievance rights to a housing authority or government agency if repairs are not made.
  • The possession or use of illegal drugs is not tolerated in public housing and is grounds for immediate eviction.