NAA Continues HUD Outreach on Inspections

NAA continues its advocacy with HUD to address housing providers’ challenges with the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. Here’s the latest.

By Ben Harrold |

September 6, 2022 |

Updated September 7, 2022

2 minute read

For housing providers who participate in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, the inspections process is one of the most burdensome regulatory requirements. It is also one of the top motivators for housing providers who leave the HCV program or opt out entirely. According to research sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), 68 percent of rental property owners who do not participate in the program had once accepted vouchers and have since stopped. Over half of housing providers who were surveyed made these business decisions because of issues with capricious inspections processes.

The National Apartment Association (NAA) continues its federal regulatory advocacy with HUD to address housing providers’ challenges with the HCV program. In NAA’s July 25 letter, we stressed that the industry shares HUD’s goals to provide quality housing for renters, yet housing providers face challenges with the HCV program because of current requirements and standards.

Guided by member feedback, we proposed several solutions which are within HUD’s authority to implement immediately:

  1. Allow greater leniency for housing providers who are aware of certain housekeeping issues and are working in good faith to resolve them while under timeline constraints. Rather than simply giving a citation, accept a plan of work with status updates;
  2. Ensure inspectors allow on-the-spot resolutions of issues which are beyond the control of facilities teams and/or caused by residents;
  3. Update requirements for certain repairs which are not industry standard. To resolve issues identified during the inspection, the industry would benefit from a 6-month cure period with clearly outlined requirements;
  4. Provide inspectors with the authority to make decisions on contextual issues instead of following inflexible checklists. A greater effort to reduce inconsistent assessments from individual inspectors is essential for reasonable preparation by the housing provider; and
  5. To ease the hardship on preservation and rehab properties, we ask that inspections of these properties be delayed in accordance with existing HUD notice criteria.

We will continue our discussions with HUD to ensure that HCV inspections requirements balance the needs of participating housing providers and their residents. We must encourage housing providers to enthusiastically and voluntarily participate in the HCV program through program enhancements as well as greater investment in program administration and vouchers. These sustainable housing policy solutions will improve renters’ access to quality, affordable rental housing; source of income mandates are not the answer.

For more information on the Housing Choice Voucher Program, please contact Ben Harrold, NAA’s Manager of Public Policy.