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Housing Quality Standards / General Guidelines

HQS are minimum standards applying to all units in the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

A more detailed explanation of Housing Quality Standards is found in the HUD handbook for administering the HCV program.

Before initial move-in:

  • The leases and the housing assistance payments contract may not be signed until a unit meets Housing Quality Standards.
  • when a landlord signs the Housing Assistance Payments Contract with the NHA, he/she affirms that the unit meets Housing Quality Standards.
  • It is the landlord's responsibility to maintain the unit, so it always meets Housing Quality Standards unless the tenant causes the unit to become substandard.
  • If a family causes damages to a unit that causes the unit to become substandard (e.g. tears the linoleum or breaks a window), the family is responsible for making the necessary repairs. The lease should specify how repairs should be completed.

At annual recertification:

  • 30-60 days in advance of the family's original move-in date (under the HCV program), an HQS inspection must be conducted.
  • If the unit passes inspection, the owner is not responsible to make any repairs and the hap contract continues.
  • If the unit fails inspection, the HCV inspector completes a Notice of Inspection form that lists each fail item in detail. the repairs must be completed within 30 days of the initial inspection date, or the hap must be stopped (by IDJD regulation). A reinspection is conducted within 30 days of the initial inspection. If the unit passes, the HAP Contract and payments continue uninterrupted. If the unit fails, the HUD regulations require that HAP payments be abated (stopped). The abatement continues until all repairs are completed, or 30 days at the maximum. During the abatement period, the NHA requests that the owner contacts the HCV Inspector when repairs are completed. A reinspection will be scheduled, and if the  unit passes the reinspection, payments resume effective the day the owner reports  the repair complete. If the unit fails the reinspection, the NHA begins proceedings to terminate the HAP Contract and relocate the family.
  • The NHA may grant owner extensions for repairs when the owner cannot complete repairs for reasons beyond their control (parts must be ordered, owner or family hospitalization, inclement weather). The extension request (written or oral) must be received before the initial 30-day repair period expires. Extensions are granted for 30-day time periods unless the owner documents the need for a long-term extension.
  • If the family refuses to make repairs that are the family's responsibility within 30 days of the date of inspection, assistance will be terminated, unless an extension is requested before the initial 30-day inspection period ends.

Special Inspections:

  • The NHA inspector will complete a special inspection at the request of the family or landlord as time permits. The NHA does not conduct routine move-out inspections.