Federal Housing Quality Standards Criteria
All properties must pass the Housing Authority of the City of Frederick (HACF) inspection:
- All interior and exterior ceilings, walls, floors and foundations must be free from serious defects and deterioration.
- A working smoke detector with a live battery must be installed on every level of the unit, including the basement and outside of bedrooms. If any members of the family are hearing impaired, a visual detector for the hearing impaired must be installed.
- The entire unit, both inside and outside, including window frames, must be free of cracking, scaling, peeling, chipping and loose paint. This prevents exposure to possible lead-based paint hazards when the unit will be occupied by a family with children under age six (6).
- Where there are three (3) or more consecutive steps, handrails must be securely attached. This applies to both the interior and exterior of the unit.
- The unit must be free of roaches, rodents or any other infestations.
- The entire unit, interior and exterior, must be free from electrical hazards. All three-prong outlets must be wired correctly. A circuit tester will be used at the time of inspection.
- Every room used for living must have either two (2) working outlets or one (1) working outlet and a permanently installed light fixture.
- All light switches and outlets must have secured faceplate covers.
- All windows and doors must be secure when closed and weather tight.
- All windows and doors accessible from the outside must have working sturdy locks.
- All operable windows must have a mechanism to secure them in place when opened. Weighted ropes or clips should be properly installed. Window screens must also be provided.
- If the unit has a third floor bedroom(s) and the family is eligible to use this room for sleeping, the room must have at least one (1) operable window for fire escape and ventilation.
- Approach to the unit must be safe with no danger of tripping.
- Access to the assisted unit must not be through use of other private property.
- The bathroom must have either an operable window or an exhaust fan for ventilation.
- The hot water tank's pressure relief valve must have a discharge line extending down two (2) to six (6) inches from the floor. The water heater must be grounded with #6 wire.
- The flue pipe leading from the furnace and hot water tank must be sealed at the chimney. Also, check to ensure that the flue pipes connecting to the furnace and hot water tank are installed correctly.
- Every room used for living must have an adequate heat source. If the source is gas, it must be vented to the outside. If the source is electric, it must be permanently installed and controlled by a separate thermostat.
- If the downspouts or gutters are damaged and/or missing, causing interior damage to the unit, they must be replaced or repaired within 30 days by the landlord.
- The unit must be free from any accumulation of garbage or debris, both inside and outside.
- Multi-family owners must provide "refuse disposals," facilities include trashcans with covers, garbage chutes or dumpsters with lids (four (4) units & over).
- Every bedroom must have at least one (1) operable window for fire escape and ventilation. Bedrooms must have a privacy door. Entry to a bedroom cannot be gained by going through another bedroom.
- All building systems, fixtures and components must be in proper, safe working order.
- Plumbing supply and drain lines must be free from leaks and dripping faucets.
- If the owner provides appliances, they must be in proper working order (i.e. all burners work, knobs are present, refrigerator has shelves, bins, seals, etc.).
- Light fixtures must have globes if designed to have a globe.
If any unit under consideration for Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) subsidies fails to meet the Housing Quality Standards criteria, the landlord must make the repairs or the tenant must find alternative housing. Units under the Housing Choice Voucher program undergo yearly inspection. If during the interim, a Housing Choice Voucher participant calls the HACF with a complaint, an inspector may visit the next day to analyze the situation. If the complaint is valid, the property owner is given a time frame in which to fix the problem. If the complaint is not addressed within this time period, the monthly assistance payment will be forfeited until the problem is remedied.
Rent Payment - If all paperwork is in order, your subsidy check will be sent to you on or about the first day of the month (contingent upon the HACF receiving funds from HUD). Reasons for non-payment include incomplete and/or needed repairs and/or incomplete or missing paperwork.
For more information, please contact Lisa Welty, HACF Voucher Program Inspector, at (301) 662-8173.