Son Denied Mother’s NYCHA Apartment

Image Credit: NYCHA.

Son lived in mother’s apartment to care for her in her last years, but had not been granted permanent permission to live in the apartment. Victoria Aponte was the tenant of record, and sole authorized occupant, of a one-bedroom apartment located in a NYCHA-owned housing development at 150 West 174th Street in the Bronx. In 2009, Ms. Aponte’s son, Jonas Aponte, moved into the apartment to assist his mother who had been diagnosed with advanced dementia and could not live alone without regular assistance.  During Ms. Aponte’s lifetime Mr. Aponte submitted two requests for permanent permission to live with his mother. NYCHA denied both requests, stating that approval would violate NYCHA’s rules by creating an overcrowded condition in a one-bedroom apartment.

Upon Ms. Aponte’s passing Mr. Aponte sought to keep the apartment by claiming remaining family status. NYCHA denied his request, ruling that Aponte was not eligible for remaining family member status since he had never been given permanent permission to reside in the apartment.

Mr. Aponte filed an article 78 petition. Supreme Court Justice Cynthia S. Kern denied the petition and dismissed the proceeding. The Appellate Division reversed, finding that NYCHA’s decision denying Mr. Aponte the apartment was arbitrary and capricious. The Housing Authority appealed to the Court of Appeals.

The Court of Appeals sided with NYCHA, reversed the Appellate Division, and rejected Aponte’s claim to the apartment. Eligibility for succession rights required that Mr. Aponte have attained permanent permission to reside in the apartment. NYCHA properly denied Mr. Aponte’s requests for permanent permission to reside in the apartment because Mr. Aponte’s presence would have violated NYCHA’s overcrowding rules. Under these facts NYCHA’s denial of Mr. Aponte’s request for succession rights to his mother’s public housing apartment was neither arbitrary nor capricious.


Aponte v Olatoye, 30 N.Y.3d 693 (2018).

By: Chaim Chait (Chaim is a New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2018.)

5 thoughts on “Son Denied Mother’s NYCHA Apartment

  1. Would giving that man the apartment really have made any difference? Of course not . Considering all the vile mismanagement NYCHA has blantantly carried on throughout the years; this is heartless and shameful .

  2. Aponte was denied the apt and rightfully so. NYCHA’s rules must be upheld. The waiting list to get into NYCHA is too long to bend and change rules when it’s convenient for certain people.

    • Only to Nycha rules when they want to apply them, first a person taking care of a parent could be 1 day until 10 years. Now they pay you now to care for your loved one, not much, but it is a full time job. You give up everything, and Nycha is aware and need to make 504 accommodations. Sorry, but too many people are in the system and confused by NYCHA rules. This is Nycha laws not the government or state laws. They should have let him remain, period! Everyone is aging and people are getting sick and need help, this could be you and what your child should do go homeless after taking care of you for years. No! You go to a shelter the tax payer pays more money, revolving door. Someone comes out the shelter into nycha and don’t pay the rent and someone goes into the shelter and rent free. So, stop! The man did a good deed! Nycha should have something in place for cases like this, they don’t mind letting the freaking rats, mice and roaches move in! Just heartless…

  3. Another possible way to resolve the situation might be applying for transfer to Reasonable Accommodation due to the need of care (transfer priorities T0-G / T0-H / T0-I / T0-M may be applicable). According to NYCHA’s Management Manual (revised in 2017), if the tenant lives in Reasonable Accommodation, even though the additional member might resulted in crowded condition, they shall not deny the permission. I think NYCHA had to provide more detailed guidance on possible ways (not to make the miserable situation, resultingly).

  4. This is absolute poppycock. In lieu of the fact that the majority of their dwellings are all overcrowded more often than not. When offspring have children of their own while residing with their parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc., no one displaces them citing this rule. Instead, nothing is said and multiple family members, friends, et al continue to inhabit the premises absent any reprimand or consequences. This same law can be used in regular housing and in NYC Administration for Children’s Services’ actions to remove minor children from homes citing overcrowding as a viable reason. Each person is “supposed” to have at least 80′ of personal liveable space in every dwelling. If this law was exacted, the foster care and shelter systems would be in even greater peril.

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