MTW Expansion Training

5. Housing Quality Standards (HQS)

Subject to state and local laws, the agency is authorized by the Secretary to develop flexibilities around an HQS inspection’s timing and frequency, the independent-entity requirement, and penalties for failing an HQS inspection, as detailed below. Implementation of any of the below discrete HQS activities meets the requirements of the 1996 MTW Statute, which requires housing to meet HQS established or approved by the Secretary.

Safe harbors marked with an asterisk (*) cannot be waived through either the Safe Harbor Waiver process or the Agency-Specific Waiver process.

Activity

5.a. Pre-Qualifying Unit Inspections (HCV)

The agency may allow pre-qualifying unit inspections (also known as a pre-inspection).

Statutes and Regulations Waived

Pre-Qualifying Unit Inspections (HCV)

Certain provisions of section 8(o)(8) of 1937 Housing Act and 24 C.F.R. 983.103, 24 C.F.R. 982.405.

Safe Harbor(s) - 5.a.

  1. The pre-inspection must have been conducted within 90 days of the participant occupying the unit.
  2. The participant must be able to request an interim inspection.*
  3. HQS inspection standards must not be altered as found at 24 C.F.R. 982.401.*

Activity

5.b. Reasonable Penalty Payments for Landlords (HCV)

The agency is authorized to establish a reasonable penalty fee for landlords who failed HQS inspections to encourage positive HQS inspection outcomes and to reduce costs associated with re-inspections. Examples may include a fee imposed at the agency’s discretion on a landlord for failed initial, annual, or re-inspections, or for a submission of a Request for Tenancy Approval on a unit that has failed its most recent inspection within a specified timeframe.

Statutes and Regulations Waived

Reasonable Penalty Payments for Landlords (HCV)

Certain provisions of section 8(o)(8) of 1937 Housing Act and 24 C.F.R. 983.101, 24 C.F.R. 983.103, and 24 C.F.R. 982.405.

Safe Harbor(s) - 5.b.

  1. The agency must establish its penalty process in its Administrative Plan.*
  2. HQS inspection standards must not be altered as found at 24 C.F.R. 982.401.*
  3. All fees collected must be used for eligible MTW activities.*

Activity

5.c. Third-Party Requirement (HCV)

The agency is authorized to perform HQS inspections on PBV units that it owns, manages, and/or controls.

Statutes and Regulations Waived

Third-Party Requirement (HCV)

Certain provisions of section 8(o)(11) of the 1937 Act, 24 C.F.R. 982.352(b)(iv) and 24 C.F.R. 983.103(f).

Safe Harbor(s) - 5.c.

  1. The agency shall establish and make available a quality assurance method to ensure an objective analysis.*
  2. The participant must be able to request an interim inspection.*
  3. HQS inspection standards must not be altered as found at 24 C.F.R. 982.401.*
  4. At the Department’s request, the agency must obtain the services of a third-party entity to determine if PHA-owned units pass HQS.*

Activity

5.d. Alternative Inspection Schedule (HCV)

The agency is authorized to establish a local inspection schedule for all or a portion of its HCV units.

Statutes and Regulations Waived

Alternative Inspection Schedule (HCV)

Certain provisions of 24 C.F.R. 983.103.

Safe Harbor(s) - 5.d.

  1. Units must be inspected at least once every three years.
  2. The participant must be able to request an interim inspection.*
  3. HQS inspection standards as found at 24 C.F.R. 982.401 must not be altered.*
  4. The Department must be able to conduct or direct the agency to perform an inspection at any time for health and safety, as well as accessibility, purposes.*