The first question you might have is “What even is the Section 8 Housing Quality Standards?” The Section 8 program was created so that lower income individuals would have access to quality housing. Essentially, before a tenant can move in, an inspection is performed on the unit by a local Public Housing Authority to make sure it’s up to their standards. Here are the thirteen performance requirements that make up the Housing Quality Standards (with examples) that Section 8 inspectors will look for.
For instance, an example of sanitary facilities could be that:
- The bathroom must be located in a private room within the residence.
- The bathroom must contain a flushing toilet, a shower or tub and a sink.
- The shower or tub and the sink must have functioning hot and cold water.
Food Preparation and Refuse Disposal
Examples of food preparation and refuse disposal include:
- The unit must have an oven and a stove or a range. A microwave oven can be substituted.
- The unit must have a kitchen sink with hot and cold water and a proper sink trap.
Space and Security
Sample criteria of the space and security requirement is:
- The unit must have a living room, a kitchen and a bathroom.
- Any doors or windows that are accessible from the outside must be able to be locked.
Requirements of having a thermal environment are:
- The heating system must safely provide heat to each room.
- The cooling system must safely cool each room.
Illumination and Electricity
Some criteria of illumination and electricity include:
- The living room and each bedroom must have at least one window.
- The kitchen must have at least one working outlet.
- The living room and each bedroom must have at least two working outlets.
Structure and Materials
Examples of meeting the structure and materials requirement include:
- All ceilings, walls and floors must not show any signs of bulging, buckling and must not contain large holes.
- The roof must be structurally sound.
- Handrails are required when there are four or more steps.
Interior Air Quality
Meeting the interior air quality requirement would mean that:
- Bathrooms have a window that can be opened or have other adequate ventilation.
- The unit is free from dangerous pollutants.
Sample criteria of the water supply requirement is:
- The water supply must be free from contamination.
- Plumbing pipes and fixtures must be free from leaks.
Some criteria of lead-based paint include:
- Units constructed before 1978 must be free from lead-based paint hazards.
- There must be no chipping, cracking or peeling paint or other hazards.
Meeting the access requirement would mean that:
- There are two ways to exit the unit (a fire escape is considered an alternate means of exit).
- The fire escape or other emergency exit is not blocked.
Site and Neighbourhood
To pass the site and neighbourhood requirement, there must not be:
- Excessive noise or trash accumulation in the neighbourhood.
- An abnormal amount of air pollution.
To meet the sanitary conditions requirement there must not be:
- A rodent or vermin infestation.
Some sample criteria of the smoke detectors requirement include:
- There must be at least one working smoke detector on each level of the unit, including the basement. Local codes may have stricter requirements, such as placing a smoke detector outside of each bedroom.
- All smoke detectors must be operational.