Recently, HUD released guidance on two provisions in the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act (HOTMA) regarding implementation of housing quality standards for Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and Project-Based Voucher (PBV) programs.
The notice provides guidance on provisions effective April 18, 2017 relating to the initial inspection of dwelling units. The decision to implement these provisions rests with the individual public housing authority (PHA).
The two HOTMA provisions discussed in this guidance do not remove the requirement that the PHA conduct an inspection prior to making a housing assistance payment (HAP), but give PHAs two options for bringing units under HAP contract (or, in the case of PBV, approving occupancy and the execution of a lease) more quickly. These options may be especially useful for PHAs operating in tight rental markets, where the ability to approve a unit and execute a HAP contract with the landlord more quickly could improve families’ ability to use their vouchers to lease housing.
A PHA may choose to adopt neither, one, or both of the following provisions:
- The first provision allows a PHA to approve the assisted tenancy and make HAPs on a unit that fails to meet HQS, provided the unit only has non-life-threatening (NLT) deficiencies.
- The second provision allows the PHA to approve assisted tenancy of a unit prior to the HQS inspection if the property has passed an alternative inspection within the past 24 months.