Living In A Good Place

It is very important to have a good place to live in. Housing quality standards that are set by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development help in ensuring that your home will be healthy, safe, and comfortable. In the Housing Voucher Program and the Section 8 Certificate Program, there are two varieties of housing quality standards.

  • Things that a house or apartment must have in order to be approved by the Public Housing Agency (PHA), and
  • Extra things that you must think about for the other needs of your own household. These are parts that you can decide.

The Requirements

  • The apartment or house must have at least a bathroom, living room, and a kitchen.
  • One-room efficiency apartments with a kitchen area are alright. But there must be a private bathroom for the use of your household.
  • There should be one sleeping/living room for every two household members.
  • Other rooms like enclosed porches, basements, halls, and dens are okay if present.
  • Floors, walls, windows, and ceiling must all be in good condition, and without any holes or huge cracks.
  • There must be no mold or any other form of infestation.
  • Plumbing and heating must all be working properly.
  • There must be no peeling, chipping, or cracking paint.
  • Lighting fixtures and sockets must all be in good condition, and there must be no exposed wirings.

When an apartment or house meets these housing quality standards, it will be comfortable, safe, and healthy, for your household. Once you find a good place to live in, you can start the Request for Lease Approval process. After both, the property owner and you have signed the Request for Lease Approval and the Public Housing Agency has accepted it, next is the official inspection of the property. The PHA will let you and the owner know of the inspection results.

If the apartment or house passed, a lease can now be signed. If there are still be some things that you or the PHA would like improved, it is possible for your PHA to negotiate for the improvements before you sign the lease. There may be cases when the owner is not amenable to do the work. If this happens, try to get the owner to pay for the materials needed and do it yourself.

If the apartment or house fails, you or your PHA can try to persuade the property owner to make the repairs so that it will pass the inspection. The possibility of the landlord doing the repairs may depend on how costly or serious they are. If the owner agrees to have the repairs made, another inspection will be done afterward. If the landlord cannot or will not do the repairs for the house or apartment, you should look for another house or apartment. Take notes on why the property failed so that your next search will be more successful.