Housing Quality Standards
Once a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) participant/family has found a suitable unit and the owner has approved the family, YHA will need to determine if the unit qualifies for the HCV program. This includes a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection. Inspections are performed upon initial move-in and annually thereafter to ensure the unit meets the minimum health and safety standards according to HUD.
Please click here to visit HUD’s website with information regarding HQS inspections, including a description of each type of inspection and a checklist to ensure your unit meets HUD’s requirements for the Housing Choice Voucher program.
You can also view Yakima Housing Authorities HQS inspection check list by clicking here.
HQS / HCV Inspection Check List
In most cases when a unit does not pass inspection, the failing item(s) are usually easily and in-expensively fixed to meet our requirements. Housing Authority inspectors are glad to advise you on items that may need repairs.
Listed below is a brief description of some (not all) of the basic requirements needed in a rental unit. Every unit must have at least a living room, kitchen and a bathroom; excluding Single Room Occupancies (SRO’s).
No large cracks or holes that allow drafts or severe bulging.
A plumbing system that is served by an approved public or private water system.
A plumbing system that is connected to an approved public or private sewage disposal system.
Pipes with no leaks and no serious rust that causes discolored water.
An electric water heater needs to have an appropriate electrical clamp to the vessel.
A temperature / pressure relief valve (TPR valve) with an attached discharge tube.
Both are required by HUD and County Code.
Air circulation during the warm months which can include windows that open & fans and / or air conditioning.
At least two windows need to have screens in good condition per each level of the home.
Enough heating equipment so that the unit is warm during the cold months—68 degrees Fahrenheit minimum.
Portable heaters are NOT acceptable; the system must be permanently and correctly installed.
Fire Exits – At least 2 exits from the building.
Elevators – If applicable must be safe and working properly with an L & I current inspection certificate displayed.
Entrance – Must not be necessary to go through anyone else’s private apartment to get into a unit.
Lights – Must work in all common hallways and stairways and interior hallways, stairways and bathrooms.
Stairs – Must have a handrail with four or more steps, inside and outside of the unit.
Windows – No broken or cracked windowpanes.
Rodents & Vermin – No sign of rats or a large number of mice or vermin (cockroaches) and no bedbugs.
Tie Downs or anchors are required.
State law and HUD require working smoke alarms in all rental units.
State law and YHA require working Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector(s).
You must have one smoke & CO detector on each level of the home, outside of the bedrooms, except for attic(s) or crawl space(s).
All housing constructed in 1995 or later is required to have all smoke detectors inter-connected. When one detector is tested, all detectors will sound off.
No large cracks or holes. No exposed unfinished wood. No holes in the carpeting. No missing or severely warped floorboards or coverings that could cause someone to trip.
No broken or cracked outlets or light switches. No broken or cracked outlet or light switch covers.
No open breaker ports in the main or sub-panels, frayed or exposed wires, uncovered junction boxes etc.
All three-prong outlets need to be grounded or have a GFCI outlet installed. GFCI breakers in the main electrical panel that controls the ungrounded outlets would also qualify.
Must be in working condition on all windows, doors and sliding glass doors that can be reached from the outside (1stfloor). This includes common hallways. No “double keyed” deadbolt locks for entry doors. A wood rod is not a lock.
No paint that is badly chipped or peeling, especially LEAD BASED PAINT. Lead based paint applies to homes constructed before 1978.
Storage and preparation space for food.
A working range, oven and refrigerator (can be supplied by the tenant).
A sink with running hot and cold water.
At least two electrical outlets or one outlet and one permanent overhead light fixture.
At least one window.
A sleeping room must have at least one window which can be opened.
There must be either natural illumination (a window) or an electric light fixture or outlet.
A roof that does not leak or has severe sagging.
Walls with no large holes that would allow outside air to enter the unit.
A foundation in good condition with no serious cracks.
No large exposed holes in the ground or heaved and broken sidewalks (trip hazard).
Housing Authority Inspectors are not required to enforce building codes as per county or state. If, after a unit is inspected and it is found that repairs are needed, you as a landlord have the option to not do the required repairs, thereby choosing not to participate in the HCV Housing Rental Assistance Program.
If you have any questions regarding our program or our unit requirements, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 509-453-3106.