What Are They?
The goal of the housing choice voucher program is to provide “decent, safe and sanitary” housing at an affordable cost to low-income families.
To accomplish this, program regulations set forth basic housing quality standards (HQS) which all units must meet before assistance can be paid on behalf of a family and at least annually throughout the term of the assisted tenancy.
HQS defines “standard housing” and establishes the minimum criteria necessary for the health and safety of program participants.
HQS regulations provide performance requirements and acceptability criteria to meet each performance requirement. HQS includes requirements for all housing types, including single and multi-family dwelling units, as well as specific requirements for special housing types such as manufactured homes, congregate housing, single room occupancy (SROs), shared housing and group residences (GRs).
How Are They Enforced?
An initial inspection must be performed and pass before the Lubbock Housing Authority may enter into a Housing Assistance Payment Contract (HAP Contract) with the landlord.
A recertification inspection will be performed annually to assess compliance with HQS. Necessary repairs must be completed in order for the HAP Contract to be renewed.
The Section 8 inspector will schedule an inspection appointment with the landlord or authorized representative.
If the inspection passes, the caseworker will be notified to proceed with the move-in process.
If the inspection fails, the landlord will receive a list of required repairs or corrections. They will then have 10 days to complete the repairs and schedule a re-inspection. Failure to perform the repairs will result in the tenant being released from any obligation to that landlord and allow them to seek other housing.
The tenant and landlord will be notified of the annual inspection date prior to the recertification date. If the inspection passes, the recertification process will continue. The landlord is not required to be present at this inspection. We do require an adult over 18 year of age to be present before we will enter a residence.
If the inspection fails, the landlord and tenant will receive a letter that will contain a deficiency summary of items to be corrected and a re-inspection date. Both parties shall have 30 days to make corrections or repairs. If the follow-up inspection passes, the recertification process continues. If the, follow-up inspection fails, the landlord and tenant will have an additional 10 days to complete repairs. If the subsequent inspection fails, rent shall be abated.
Special inspections will be performed at the request of the tenant or landlord to address specific violations or concerns.
Quality Control Inspections
Quality Control inspections shall be performed to assure consistency and programmatic compliance by the inspectors. These inspections will address a cross section of inspectors and zip codes.