Inspection

Home. Family. Opportunity.

HOUSING QUALITY STANDARDS (HQS) INSPECTIONS

To provide decent, safe and sanitary conditions in all assisted homes, HACA conducts annual inspections on all housing units participating in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. In addition to Housing Quality Standard (HQS) inspections, random quality control inspections are conducted on at least 10% of the participating units to ensure program compliance and to confirm that repairs are consistent with current industry standards. HACA’s HQS inspection policies are located in Chapter 8 of the Housing Choice Voucher Program’s Administrative Plan.

Types of HQS Inspections

Initial/Move-In Inspections: HACA conducts initial inspections to approve a unit for participation in the HCV program. The unit must pass the HQS inspection before any Housing Assistance Payments can be paid to the owner; therefore, it is best if the family does not move into the unit before approval.

Annual/Biennial Inspections: HUD requires HACA to inspect each unit under lease at least annually to confirm that the unit still meets HQS. The inspections may be conducted in conjunction with the family’s annual reexamination, but is typically conducted separately.

Special Inspections: A special inspection may be requested between annual inspections by the owner, the family or a third party as a result of problems identified with a unit between annual inspections.

Quality Control Inspections: HUD requires that a sample of units be inspected by a quality control inspector to ensure that HQS is being enforced correctly and uniformly by all inspectors.

Commonly Failed HQS Items

  • Unit must be in “made ready” status. “Made ready” status is defined as a unit that is ready for immediate move-in; for example, units must have all utilities on, a working stove/refrigerator, no trash/debris on site and working heating/cooling equipment (regardless of time of year).
  • Units built pre-1978 can’t have any chipping or peeling paint inside or outside the unit. This also applies to the exterior of secondary buildings, playgrounds, railings and common areas of the property.
  • Stove/Refrigerator must be clean and in working order (no missing kick plates or torn door seals, etc.).
  • Ensure electric, plumbing and gas services are operating in a safe manner and present no danger to occupants. For example, units must not have electric hazards, plumbing leaks, missing/broken P-traps under sinks, gas leaks, etc.
  • All windows must have working locks or a permanently attached locking device.
  • All windows must be in good working condition and able to remain open. Window panes cannot be missing, broken or cracked (cutting hazard.) Plexiglas is not an acceptable repair for glazed windows.
  • All common areas will be inspected for safety hazards (Laundry room/pool area, etc…).
  • The roof must not leak; Indications of a leak are discolorations or stains on the ceiling.
  • The hot water heater tank must have a temperature pressure relief valve with a downward discharge pipe.
  • Floor covering cannot be torn nor have holes/cracks that can cause a tripping/cutting hazard.
  • Stairs and railings must be secure. Handrails are required for steps with four or more consecutive steps or 30 inches or higher above the ground such as around stairwells, balcony, walkways, etc.
  • There should be no trip hazards such as gaps/cracks greater than ¾ inch on sidewalk, walkways, driveways, common areas, etc.
  • Working smoke detectors are required in all bedrooms and adjacent hallways. See manufacturer’s specifications for proper installation.
  • All conversions/additions must pass HQS inspection and be properly permitted by City or local agency having jurisdiction over the unit. SAHA may request copies of approved permits.
  • All security/burglar bars must have a quick release mechanism (cannot use key, tool or special knowledge to open).
  • Double-keyed deadbolts, also known as double cylinder locks, are not allowed at any location.

RENT REASONABLENESS

Rent Reasonableness certifications will be completed to determine if the requested rent is reasonable as compared to an unassisted unit when considering the location, quality, size, type, age, amenities, housing services, maintenance and utilities to be provided.

A Rent Reasonableness certification are conducted for initial inspections; prior to approving a rent increase requested by the owner or manager and when there is a five percent decrease in the published FMR. At least one of the following is used to verify that the rent is reasonable: a copy of a rent roll; a copy of one lease for an unassisted unit; a Go Section 8 rent reasonable valuation form or a printed comparable unit from the Multiple Listing System. Any comparable used must be no more than 12 months old from the rent reasonableness certification date.

RENT REQUEST

If you would like to request a rent increase, please email the Inspections Department at rentrequest@hacanet.org. Inspection Manager Manuel Serrato will process your request and may be contacted at (512) 767-7661.

Intake Contact Information

Victoria Perez

Intake Team Eligibility Specialist II

(512) 767-7648

Darby E. Ray

Intake Team Eligibility Specialist II

(512) 767-7617

Christina Contreras

Intake Compliance Manager

(512) 767-7619

Inspection Contact Information

Manuel Serrato

Inspection Manager

(512) 767-7661

James Gonzales

Inspection Coordinator

(512) 767-7626

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