Justice David Schmidt
Four landlords who participated in the federally funded Section 8 rent subsidy program commenced a breach of contract action seeking to recover increased rent subsidies that were allegedly unpaid for apartments located in several buildings in the Bronx. The buildings are or were occupied by tenants now or previously participating in the Section 8 program administered by defendant New York City Housing Authority. For 26 tenants, the landlords claimed that the Housing Authority refused to pay rent increases that have been authorized under the New York State Rent Stabilization Law, as approved by the Rent Guidelines Board. The Housing Authority contended that because the landlords were seeking relief in the nature of certiorari to review its decision to suspend housing assistance payments, to refuse to implement lease renewal increases, or mandamus to compel it to act upon the landlords’ requests for lease renewal increases, the claims must be interposed in an Article 78 proceeding. The court agreed and concluded that the determination of whether the landlords are entitled to an increase in the monthly rent subsidy payable to them must be reviewed in an Article 78 proceeding.