HQS (Housing Quality Standard) Inspections
Annual inspections are mandatory. All units must pass inspection prior to initial lease-up and annually. If the inspector is unable or not allowed to enter the unit to conduct an inspection, it is considered to be a "no-show/fail". A no show inspection is defined as a failed inspection with all items marked as deficient. If a unit fails two consecutive inspection, for anything, the rent is abated and the participant may be at risk of termination.
The Housing Inspector will conduct the inspection to ensure all units meet HQS. The following items should be in working order prior to the inspection:
- All utilities must be active (water, electricity, etc.);
- Appliances must be present and operating properly (stove, refrigerator);
- The unit should bee empty and all remodeling/repairs must be completed prior to the inspection;
- Smoke detectors must be operable and properly mounted on each level and in each sleeping room;
- Exterior and interior of the unit must be free of debris, trash, and clutter;
- All closets and cabinets must be empty and free of clutter/trash;
- Dwelling must be structurally sound and not have any serious defects such as leaning, buckling, sagging, large holes, or defects that may result in air infiltration or vermin infestation;
- All windows that open to the outside must have operable locks; each sleeping room must have at least one operable window. Windows/doors must not be blocked; all habitable rooms (including living room) must have at least one window facing outdoors; all windows must have screens;
- Dwelling must be capable of maintaining a thermal environment healthy for the human body; must have a permanent heat source that is safe and operable; Unvented heaters or portable electric heaters are not acceptable;
- All electrical outlets must be operable; electrical outlets/switches must have cover plates; Covers/switch plates that are cracked must be replaced; all electrical plugs above any wet areas (kitchen/bathroom) are required to be ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI).
- Fuse boxes/connections must not be exposed; open circuit breaker positions must be properly blanked off (electrical tape or duct tape are not appropriate materials to blank off open breaker ports). Missing knock-outs in the electrical panel is considered a deficiency; unit must have it's own electrical source, electrical service cannot come from another unit or vice versa;
- All exterior doors must have securely fastened lock and striker plate; door frames must be structurally sound and able to hold the door/lock securely closed; double keyed deadbolt locks are prohibited.
- All light sockets must have a proper light bulb installed and operable;
- Bathrooms must have an exhaust fan or an operable window for ventilation;
- Broken bathroom fixtures are not acceptable;
- All sinks, faucets, and plumbing must be free from leaks; all sinks should have functioning stoppers or pop-up metal device which allows sink to hold water;
- Under the sink cabinets and flooring must not have any serious deterioration caused by water/plumbing problems; should not be any openings under sinks or in closets;
- All sink & toilet water lines should have shut off valves;
- Unit must be free of rodent, vermin, and insect infestation (i.e., roaches, mice, fleas, bed bugs, etc.);
- All painted surfaces must be free of chipping and/or peeling paint;
- Carpet and other flooring must be clean and free of tripping hazards;
- Handrails are required when 4 or more steps (risers) are present and protective railings are required when porches, balconies, and stoops are 30" or more off the ground; opening and/or vertical railings shall be no more than 4" apart; porches and sidewalks shoudl be clean and free of hazards;
- Water heaters should be vented through the roof and have a temperature pressure relief valve and discharge line;
- The unit must provide adequate space based on the size of the family and security;
- Properties must meet the requirements of local and state fire and safety codes;
- House/Apartment numbers must be clearly visible from the street;
The property owner/Landlord is to be present at the time of the initial inspection.
Non-Life Threatening Deficiencies
Initial inspections are allowed 10 days to correct non-life threatening deficiencies. Annual inspections are allowed 30 days to correct non-life threatening deficiencies.
Life Threatening Deficiencies
Life threatening deficiencies must be corrected within 24 hours. Examples of life threatening deficiencies include: