After determining that the rent amount is reasonable on a section 8 voucher property, Housing Inspections staff will contact the landlord to schedule a date and time for the housing quality standards (HQS) inspection. Inspectors conducting Section 8 inspections will be looking for health and safety items, along with Federal housing quality standards and minimum local housing codes.
Inspections are scheduled on a first come, first served basis and are normally conducted within two weeks. If the unit passes inspection, it is ready for occupancy and the process continues. If the unit fails inspection, all issues noted on the failed inspection report must be corrected and the unit re-inspected within 30 days. Both tenant and/or landlord may be responsible for correcting failed HQS items. Inspections will occur on an annual basis, following the initial inspection and for as long as the Section 8 participant continues to occupy the unit. It is strongly recommended that the landlord be present at each HQS inspection.
Units leased in this program shall meet the following requirements:
First and foremost, the housing must be safe, decent and sanitary.
Access – The dwelling unit shall be usable and capable of being maintained without unauthorized use of private properties. The building shall provide an alternative exit in case of the fire (such as fire stairs or exit through windows).
Food preparation and refuse disposal – A cooking stove or range, a refrigerator of appropriate size for the unit, a kitchen sink with hot and cold running water shall be present in proper operation condition. Adequate space for the storage, preparation and serving of food shall be provided. There shall be adequate facilities and services for the sanitary disposal of food waste.
Illumination and electricity- Living and sleeping rooms shall include at least one window. A ceiling or wall type light fixture shall be present and working in bathroom and kitchen. At least two electric outlets, one of which may be an overhead light, shall be present and operable in the living room, kitchen and each bedroom.
Interior air quality- The dwelling shall be free from dangerous levels or air pollution from carbon monoxide, sewer gas, fuel gas, dust and other harmful air pollutants. Air circulation shall be adequate throughout the unit. Bathroom areas shall have a least one operable window or other adequate exhaust ventilation.
Sanitary facilities – The dwelling unit shall include a flush toilet, a fixed basin and tub or shower with hot and cold running water, all in proper operating condition, can be used in privacy and are adequate for personal cleanliness and the disposal of human waste.
Site and neighborhood- The site and neighborhood shall not be subject to dangerous walks, steps, instability, flooding, poor drainage, septic tanks backups, sewage hazards or mud slide; abnormal air pollution, smoke or dust, excessive accumulation or trash, vermin or rodent infestation; or fire hazards.
Space and security – The dwelling unit shall contain a living room, kitchen, bathroom and at least one bedroom or living-sleeping room of appropriate size for each two persons. Exterior doors and windows accessible from outside the unit shall have screens.
Structure and materials – Ceilings, walls and floors shall not have any serious defects such as severe bulging or leaning, large holes, loose surface materials, other serious damage. The roof shall be firm and weather tight. The exterior wall structure and surface shall not have any serious defects such as serious leaning, buckling, sagging, cracks or holes, loose siding, or other serious damages. The condition and equipment of interior and exterior stairways, halls, porches, walkways, etc. shall be such as not to present a danger or tripping or failing. Elevators shall be maintained in safe and operating conditions.
Water Supply – The unit shall be served by approved public or private sanitary water supply. The “Housing Assistance Payment” is the difference between the tenant’s portion and the actual rent. The family negotiates directly with the landlord to secure rental accommodations that best suit their need. The unit must meet HUD Housing Quality Standards and pass inspection before a contract is executed between the Housing Authority and Landlord.