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Adams and Reese Scores Supreme Court Victory Against HUD Appeal on Section 8 Grants

4/24/2015

Adams and Reese attorney Giles Perkins, Partner in the firm’s Birmingham office, represented Navigate Affordable Housing Partners and scored a United States Supreme Court victory against HUD when the Court refused to hear the agency’s appeals challenge and therefore required the agency to use fair and open contracting practices when administering the project-based Section 8 housing program.

 

The case is USA v. CMS Contract Management Services et al., case number 14­781, in the Supreme Court of the United States. HUD had filed a petition for a writ of certiorari, or a cert. petition, with the high court, asking the court to consider HUD’s appeal of a March 25, 2014, US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruling. Since that March 2014 ruling, HUD has continued to delay complying with the Federal Circuit’s mandate to compete these administrative services contracts under the same contracting procedures used by every other federal agency.

For more than a dozen years, HUD has procured its contract administration services for the project-based Section 8 housing program through competitively awarded contracts. HUD attempted to change course in 2012 when it re-cast these procurement contracts as cooperative agreements through a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) to avoid competition and review of its actions. HUD also sought to award these contracts on a sole source contracting basis to in-state housing finance agencies. In doing so, HUD barred other qualified contractors, including many incumbents, from competing. Navigate and the other public housing agencies, which brought the aforementioned lawsuit, have successfully provided services to HUD for years under these contracts but would be barred from continuing to do so by HUD’s improper actions.

Navigate Affordable Housing Partners (Navigate) is a nonprofit affordable housing provider based in Birmingham, Alabama. For 15 years, Navigate has provided services to assist HUD in overseeing and administering the project-based Section 8 housing program through a standard procurement process. Navigate is one of the eight plaintiffs forced to bring litigation against HUD in order to stop HUD’s anti-competitive practices.