Living In Quality Housing

It is very important to live in a good place. Through the Housing Voucher Program or Section 8, your Public Housing Agency (PHA) can assist you in renting a good property. You or your household are free to choose and decide which house or apartment to occupy. just make sure the quality requirements set by HUD are met. Fair Market Rent should also be considered in a way that the property's rent cost should not exceed it. Note however that you may be allowed to rent properties that have a higher rent cost that the Fair Market Rent if you or your household are willing to pay the extra rent amount.

Housing Quality Standards

The housing quality standards ensure that your shelter is healthy, safe, and comfortable. Under the Housing Voucher Program and the Section 8 Voucher Program, there are two types of housing quality standards:

  • Things which a home must have to be approved by the Public Housing Agency, and
  • Additional things that you or your household should consider for the specific needs of your own household are things that you can decide.

The Requirements

Each apartment or house must at least have:

  • living room
  • kitchen
  • bathroom

A one-room efficiency home with a kitchen area is allowed. But, there should be a separate bathroom for the household's private use. Usually, there should be one living/sleeping room for every two household members.

Other rooms which are not lived in can be:

  • porch
  • basement
  • utility room for washer and dryer

Everything must be examined for electrical and security hazards and other possible dangers like ceilings or walls in danger of falling because these details are very important for the entire property's safety. Make sure to also check the entire property for other likely dangers likes big holes in the walls, ceilings, or floors, and stairways that are not safe.

Things you should also consider and check to see how well the property is maintained:

  • What are the condition of the windows?
    • Are there small or big cracks in the panes?
    • lock types on windows and doors
    • Are they secure and safe?
    • Are there windows that have been nailed shut which you would like to open?
  • How much weatherization around doors, windows, and the entire property there is.
    • Is there weather stripping? This may be important if you are paying your own utilities.
    • Are there storm windows?
    • Is there insulation?
  • Where are the light fixtures and electric outlets located?
    • How many electric outlets are there?
    • Is there any frayed wiring?
    • Are there any missing switch or outlet covers, or badly cracked ones?
  • The state of the wallpaper and paint
    • Check if they are faded, worn, or dirty.
  • The floor's condition.
    • Is it worn or scratched?
  • The heating equipment type
    • Will the heating equipment be able to provide sufficient heat for you or your household during winter, to all the rooms to be used?
  • If there is any type of cooling equipment or air circulation.
    • Will the system be cool enough for you or your household in the summer?
  • Is there a common public hallway?
  • Is there a fire escape?

You may check for all of these things beforehand, and if you think the property can be approved for the quality standards, you can then have it formally inspected by your local PHA.