|Housing Quality Standard Tips|
From the Director's Office
Housing Quality Standards (HQS) are minimum property standards that have been approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for all federally assisted properties. CMHA is required to enforce these federal property standards to ensure that all Voucher assisted properties are decent, safe and sanitary. Most of the HQS standards are similar to local building codes.
A unit must pass the initial HQS inspection before CMHA can make a subsidy payment to a landlord. One fail item causes a unit to fail the HQS inspection. After an initial HQS inspection passes and a contract has been executed an inspection must be conducted annually or bi-annually.
CMHA’s goal is to apply these property standards in a fair and consistent manner because we believe that all Voucher participants are entitled to live in decent and safe housing. Enforcing HQS regulations for Voucher assisted properties is a high priority.
Landlords and Housing Choice Voucher residents have dual responsibilities for complying with HQS regulations. Tenants must not damage their unit and must maintain tenant-paid utilities. Landlords are required to make immediate repairs if HQS violations are cited. A 30-day deadline for repairs is usually given for all nonlife threatening violations. Extensions for repairs may be given if the scope of repair work requires additional time for completion. For emergency repairs, a 24-hour deadline is given. The same deadlines also apply for tenant-caused violations. If tenant-caused HQS damages (including utility shut-offs) are not remedied by the deadline, the tenant may be denied further participation in the Voucher Program.
CMHA Housing Choice Voucher staff are committed to work with landlords and their tenants to ensure that all Voucher assisted properties meet Housing Quality Standards.
Thanks for working with us!
If more information is needed our website contains documentation and procedures on the Housing Choice Voucher Program. Below are a few aids that should be followed:
a. Screen your tenant carefully. CMHA certifies that the family is eligible for the Program; we do not guarantee the suitability of the tenant.
b. Use a thorough application.
c. Your unit should be ready for immediate occupancy. Do not ask the inspector to make a list of repairs in order to comply with HQS regulations; however, you can obtain a sample inspection report and use it as a guide for checking your unit for potential
d. To document the units initial condition you can do a move-in inspection with your tenant.
e. Create “house rules” for all your tenants and follow them.
f. After your unit is in contract, inspect the unit quarterly.
g. If a tenant owes rent, collect it monthly.
h. Do not allow the tenant to have boarders or lodgers. The housing assistance contract lists all approved family members. Your lease should also list all family members.
i. No side payments for extra rent! This is fraud and may subject you to civil and criminal penalties and end your participation in the Housing Voucher Program.
CMHA serves the community by helping people access affordable housing. By working with our collaborative partners, we develop, renovate and maintain housing, promote neighborhood revitalization and assist residents in accessing needed social services.
Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority
Housing Choice Voucher Department
880 E. 11th Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43211
Visit CMHA on the web at www.cmhanet.com
1. Top burners should be present and working.
2. An oven must be present and working. All knobs must be present and legible.
3. Door handles must not be detached or missing.
4. Check for hazardous gas hook up evidenced by strong gas smell.
5. Check electrical connections for any defects or hazardous features, exposed wires, damaged cords, or broken or cracked covers.
1. Is the refrigerator adequate in size relative to the needs of the family?
2. Does the refrigerator have any parts which are missing or deteriorated, such as handles broken, seals damaged, seriously cracked linings, missing kick plates where sharp edges or wires are exposed?
3. Does the refrigerator maintain a temperature low enough to keep food from spoiling over a reasonable period?
SINKS, SHOWERS, TUBS, ETC.
1. They must be connected to a system that will deliver hot and cold running water.
2. They must be connected to a drain with a “gas trap”.
3. Repair connectors (or vents or traps) which are faulty to the extent that severe leakage of water or escape of sewer gasses is occurring.
4. Clean clogged drains.
5. Repair the faucet, knobs, or handles that are stripped or missing.
6. Does the tub, sink or shower need re-caulking?
7. Check for other defects, broken toilet seats, and seriously cracked or damaged surfaces.
8. The bathroom must have a window that can be opened or a working exhaust fan.