|Housing Quality Standards
Housing Quality Standards (HQS) are the HUD minimum quality
standards for 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 the HQS inspection
before the beginning date of the assisted lease and HAP contract.
Guidelines/Types Of Inspections
Efforts will be made
at all times to encourage owners to provide housing above
HQS minimum standards. Owners are responsible for maintaining
housing that will continuously meet the minimum HQS standards
and acceptance of a rental assistance payment from CKH constitutes
All utilities must be in service prior to the effective
date of HAP contract. If the utilities are not in service
at the time of inspection, the Inspector will notify the
tenant or owner (whomever is responsible for the utilities
according to the RFTA) to have the utilities turned on. The
Inspector will schedule a re-inspection. The owner and tenant
will both certify that the utilities are on.
the tenant is responsible for supplying the stove and/or the
refrigerator, CKH will allow the stove and refrigerator to
be placed in the unit after the inspection, if after the unit
has passed all other HQS, the family certifies that the appliances
are in the unit and working according to the Housing Quality
Standards. CKH will not conduct a re-inspection.
There are five types
of inspections CKH will perform:
1. Initial/Move-in: Conducted upon receipt of Request For
2. Annual: Must be conducted prior to HAP contract anniversary
3. Special/Complaint: At request of owner, family or an
agency or third-party.
4. Quality Control
Initial HQS Inspection
CKH will make every reasonable effort to conduct initial HQS
inspections for the family and owner in a manner that is time
efficient and indicative of good customer service.
The Initial Inspection will be conducted to:
Determine if the unit and property meets HQS.
Document the current condition of the unit as to assist
in future evaluations whether the future condition of the
unit exceeds normal wear and tear.
If the unit fails
the initial Housing Quality Standards inspection, the owner
will be advised to notify CKH once repairs are completed.
On an initial inspection, the owner will be given up to
30 days to correct the items noted as Fail, at the Inspector's
discretion, depending on the amount and complexity of work
to be done.
If the time period given by the Inspector to correct the
repairs has elapsed, or the maximum number of failed re-inspection
has occurred, the family must select another unit assuming
the Voucher has not expired.
Annual HQS Inspections
CKH conducts an inspection
in accordance with Housing Quality Standards at least annually,
90 days prior to the anniversary month of the contract. Special
inspections may be scheduled between anniversary dates.
The landlord must correct HQS deficiencies that cause a
unit to fail unless it is a fail for which the tenant is
The family must allow
CKH to inspect the unit at reasonable times with reasonable
The family and owner are notified of the date and approximate
time of the inspection appointment .
Time Standards for Repairs
1. Emergency items that endanger
the family’s health
or safety must be corrected by the owner within 24 hours
2. For non-emergency items, repairs must be made within
3. For major repairs, the Director of Leased Housing may
approve an extension beyond 30 days.
CKH will conduct
an inspection using the Housing Quality Standards at least
annually, prior to the anniversary month of the contract.
Contract rent increases will not be approved if the unit is
in a failed condition.
at any time the family or owner notifies CKH that the unit
does not meet Housing Quality Standards, CKH will conduct
CKH may also conduct
a special inspection based on information from third parties
such as neighbors or public officials.
Quality Control Inspections
Quality Control inspections will be performed by the Leased
Housing Program Specialists for the purpose of determining
if each inspector is conducting accurate and complete inspections,
and to ensure that there is consistency among inspectors
in application of the HQS.
The sampling of files will include recently completed inspections
(within the prior 3 months), a cross-section of neighborhoods,
and a cross-section of inspectors.
Consequences for HQS Non-Compliance
If Owner Is Responsible (Non-Emergency Items)
When it has been
determined that a unit on the program fails to meet Housing
Quality Standards, due to the owner not having completed the
necessary repair(s) in the time period specified by CKH, the
assistance payment to the owner will be abated and a 30 day
notice of termination of the HAP contract will be sent to
the owner and tenant.
A Notice of Abatement will be sent to the owner informing
them of the abatement. The abatement period will coincide
with the termination period.
No retroactive payments
will be made to the owner for the period of time the rent
was abated and the unit did not comply with HQS. The notice
of abatement states that the tenant is not responsible for
CKH's portion of rent that is abated.
Termination of Contract
If the owner is responsible
for repairs, and fails to correct all the deficiencies cited
prior to the end of the period given by CKH to make the repairs,
the owner will be sent a HAP Contract Termination Notice.
The abatement period and termination period will coincide.
If repairs are completed
before the effective termination date, the termination may
be rescinded by CKH if the tenant chooses to remain in the
unit. Only one Housing Quality Standards inspection will be
conducted after the termination notice is issued.
Determination Of Responsibility
Certain HQS deficiencies are considered the responsibility
of the family:
- Tenant-paid utilities not in service.
- Failure to provide or maintain family-supplied appliances.
- Damage to the unit or premises caused by a household member
or guest beyond normal wear and tear.
The owner is responsible for all other HQS violations.
The owner is responsible
for vermin infestation even if caused by the family's living
habits. However, if such infestation is serious and repeated,
it may be considered a lease violation and the owner may evict
for serious or repeated violation of the lease. CKH may terminate
the family's assistance on that basis.
The inspector will make a determination of owner or family
responsibility during the inspection.
If the family is responsible but the owner carries out the
repairs, the owner will be encouraged to bill the family
for the cost of the repairs and the family's file will be
Consequences If Family Is Responsible
non-emergency violations of HQS are determined to be the responsibility
of the family, CKH will require the family make any repair(s)
or corrections within 10 days. If the repair(s) or correction(s)
are not made in this time period, CKH will terminate assistance
to the family. The Director of Leased Housing must approve
extensions in these cases. The owner's rent will not be abated
for items that are the family's responsibility.
If the tenant is responsible and corrections are not made,
HAP Contract will terminate when assistance is terminated.
Lead Based Paint
Lead-based paint rules apply to all housing constructed
before 1978 and where a child under six years of age or a
pregnant woman will reside.
All tenants must be provided with
a copy of the HUD/EPA pamphlet “Protect Your family from Lead in Your Home”.
This document, EPA747-K-9401 is available through the Government
Printing Office. Photocopies are acceptable.) The owner and
family must complete and sign a “Disclosure of Information
on Lead-Based Paint and/or Lead-Based Paint Hazards”.
This form must be kept by the owner for at least three years.
The owner must disclose any known lead-based paint hazards
to the family.
must compete a visual assessment for deteriorated paint during
the initial and annual inspection. (For more information on
lead-based paint in general, see the HUD and EPA web pages.
During inspections, all deteriorated or damaged paint will
be assumed to be lead-based paint (LBP) unless the paint has
been tested and cleared by a licensed Lead Inspector or Risk
Assessor. All deteriorated paint must be stabilized by properly
trained persons. Paint stabilization must be completed before
the unit is occupied or within 30 days of notification if
the unit is already occupied. (See CKH’s Lead Paint
Only properly trained persons may work on LBP or paint assumed
to be LBP. Clearance testing is required after repairing
LBP. At the completion of work involving LBP or paint assumed
to be LBP, the owner must have lead wipe samples secured
by a licensed lead inspector and the dust levels must be
below HUD defined levels. Section 8 will provide this service
at no charge to the owner.
If there is a child with an Elevated Blood Level (EBL) under
age six in the unit, a Lead Risk Assessment of the unit and
common areas must be completed within 15 days of notification.
(A child with an Elevated Blood Level is one determined to
have excess lead levels in the blood stream.) The assessment
may be performed by the Health Department.