All units occupied by households receiving Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) assistance must meet HUD's Housing Quality Standards (HQS). COC conducts the following types of inspections as needed:
- Initial Inspections: An initial inspection must be conducted prior to initial occupancy. COC conducts initial inspections in response to a request from the family to approve a unit for participation in the HCV program. The unit must pass the HQS inspection on or before the effective date of the HAP Contract.
- Annual/Biennial Inspections: HUD requires COC to inspect each unit under lease at least annually or biennially, depending on unit eligibility and inspection history, to confirm that the unit still meets HQS after initial lease up.
- Special Inspections: A special inspection may be requested by the owner, the family, or a third party as a result of problems identified with a unit between annual/biennial inspections.
- Quality Control Inspections: HUD requires that a sample of units be inspected by a supervisor or other qualified individual to evaluate the work of the inspector(s) and to ensure that inspections are performed in compliance with the HQS.
Failed inspections delay the initial contract process,interrupt the processing of Housing Assistance Payments and may result in the termination of assistance. Please help expedite this process by checking the following items in your unit prior to its scheduled inspection.
These are the most common reasons an inspection will fail:
- Smoke Detectors – Not present, missing batteries, or dead batteries. They must be working and present on each level of the unit, including basements.
- Chipping or Peeling Paint – There must be no chipping or peeling paint on any surfaces on the inside or outside of the unit.
- Water Heater – Without an extension pipe on the pressure relief valve (pipe must extend to within 6 inches of the base of the water heater or floor).
- Double key or Double-Cylinder Locks - Are prohibited because these locks require use of a key to open from the inside.
- Not having a Single-Cylinder Lock – On all swinging exterior doors of a unit.
- Window Bars – If present, they must have a quick release that can be easily opened by even young children.
- Dirty Unit – A unit that is not clean and ready for occupancy.
- Plumbing Problems – Leaking pipes or running faucets.
- Window Locks – Missing or not working on accessible windows.
- Electrical Hazards – Missing or cracked outlet covers, outlets not working or damaged.
- Fences – Leaning fences are a safety hazard.
- Yard – Garbage, debris, unregistered and inoperable vehicles.
It only takes one deficiency for a unit to fail an inspection. Failed units require a re-check and/or verification of HQS compliance. This process is timely and costly. You can help save time and money by doing your own inspection and making repairs prior to COC's HQS inspection.
In preparation for an HQS inspection, please refer to the Self-Inspection Checklist.