Downs syndrome grand-nephew sought succession rights to Mitchell-Lama cooperative apartment. On February 3, 2012, the permanent tenant of Lindsay Park Housing Corp., a Mitchell-Lama affordable housing cooperative, died. Following her death, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development ruled that the grand-nephew, Haile King-Rubie, who resided with the deceased did not have succession rights to the apartment. Haile King-Rubie, who has Down syndrome, filed a petition to review this decision.
Under the Mitchell-Lama rules, the occupancy rights of a family member with a disability is entitled to succession rights if the family member lived with the permanent tenant for a period of not less than one year immediately prior to the tenant’s vacating of the apartment, and the family member had appeared on the income documentation for at least the reporting period immediately prior to the permanent tenant vacating.
The Appellate Division, Second Department overturned the decision of HPD and ruled that King-Rubie had succession rights. King-Rubie established that he was a family member and resided with his great aunt in the subject apartment as his primary residence for the relevant one-year co-residency period prior to his great-aunt’s death. King-Rubie also submitted income affidavits which demonstrated that he was included as a member of his great-aunt’s household. Beyond the income affidavits, King-Rubie submitted numerous additional records from banks, schools and health insurance companies that proved the co-residency. Under these circumstances, it was established that King-Rubie was entitled to succession rights to the subject apartment.
Matter of King-Rubie v. Wambua, 34 N.Y.S.3d 590 (2d Dep’t 2016) (Attorneys: Marc P. Gershman, for King-Rubie; Zachary W. Carter, Richard P. Dearing, Jonathan A. Popolow, for City).
By: Nicole Santo (Nicole is a student writer for CityLaw and student at New York Law School, Class of 2018).