Housing Choice Voucher Program
Housing Quality Standards & Inspections
Housing Quality Standards (HQS) are the minimum quality standards for the tenant-based programs. HQS standards are required both at initial occupancy and during the term of the lease. HQS standards apply to the building and premises, as well as the unit. Newly leased units must pass HQS inspection before the beginning date of the assisted lease and HAP contract.
TYPES OF INSPECTIONS
- Initial move in : conducted upon receipt of request for lease approval
- Annual: must be conducted prior to the hap contract anniversary date
- Move out/vacate: at landlord’s request and only for contracts effective prior to October 2, 1995.
- Special/complaint: at request of owner, family or third party
- Quality control
ABATEMENTS OWNER RESPONSIBLE REPAIRS
When it has been determined that a unit on the program fails to meet Housing Quality Standards, and the owner is responsible for completing repair(s) in the time period specified by the PHA and has failed to do so, the assistance payment to the owner will be abated.
A notice of Abatement will be sent to the owner, and the abatement will be effective from the first day of the month following the missed deadline. The abatement period cannot exceed one month.
The PHA will inspect abated units within three days of the owner’s notification that the work has been completed. If the owner makes repairs during the abatement period, payment will resume on the day the unit passes inspection. The family will be notified of the inspection date and time. If the PHA delays the re-inspection, payments will resume no later than three days after the owner’s notification, assuming the unit has passed the delayed inspection.
TENANT RESPONSIBLE REPAIRS
If non-emergency violations of HQS are determined to be the responsibility of the family, the PHA will require the family to make any repair(s) or corrections within 30 days. If the repair(s) or corrections(s) are not made in this time period, the PHA will terminate assistance to the family.
The following items are considered of an emergency nature and must be corrected by the owner or tenant (whoever is responsible) within 24 hours of notice by the inspector.
- Waterlogged ceiling in imminent danger of falling
- Natural gas leak of fumes
- Electrical problem which could result in shock or fire
- No heat when outside temperature is below fifty degrees and temperature inside unit is below sixty degrees
- Utilities not in service
- No running water
- Lack of functioning toilet
- No hot water in the unit
COMPLAINT INSPECTION PROCESS
The process for a complaint inspection is the same for all landlords and program tenant participants. Should one be completed, any housing quality standards citations are listed in a report and sent to the landlord and tenant. The citations must be corrected within 30 days unless emergency repairs are to be made. Any citations the tenant is responsible for must be corrected within the 30-day deadline.
Unless emergency repairs are to be made in that case the tenant will have twenty four hours to make the repairs to avoid termination of tenant program participation and the termination of the housing assistance contract between the landlord and the housing authority. The tenant is no longer eligible for assistance at the current unit or any other unit beyond the termination date. Should the tenant reapply, holding non-compliance status results in delay of application placement to the waiting list for a period of twelve months.
Any citations the landlord is responsible for must be corrected within the 30-day deadline to avoid abatement of housing assistance payments. Unless emergency repairs are to be made in that case the landlord will have twenty-four hours to make repairs. Abatement begins the first day after the 30-day correction deadline and continues for a 30-day abatement period. If at any time within the 30 day abatement period the unit passes inspection, housing assistance payments can begin again to be paid for the day it passes through the end of that month, no retroactive payments are made for the time frame the unit did not pass HQS. If the unit does not pass HQS after the abatement period begins and continues for 30 days, the housing assistance contract terminates between the landlord and the housing authority and the tenant is responsible for full total rent and continued occupancy.
Written request to make repairs must be given to the landlord with a reasonable time given for completion and a copy to the housing authority. At the end of this timeline a complaint inspection will be scheduled at your written request. Should you wish to schedule a complaint inspection, please write and sign your request and submit it to the housing authority office.