Senate Bill Would Give Residents Opportunities to Identify Poor Conditions in Section 8 Housing
Florida Senators Bill Nelson (D) and Marco Rubio (R) introduced the Housing Accountability Act of 2016 on July 14. The bill would require a survey of residents at private properties with Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contracts twice a year to determine the existence of persistent problems with a property’s physical condition or management.
HUD’s Office of Multifamily Programs oversees private properties with HAP contracts but relies on independent Performance-Based Contract Administrators to inspect properties each year using HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) inspection protocol. The protocol doesn’t provide for resident input.
If the resident survey consistently identifies problems with a structure or management, and the problems are not resolved or repeatedly occur, the proposed bill says HUD may impose a financial penalty not less than 1 percent of the annual Section 8 budget authority allocated to the owner. And penalty amounts must be used to achieve safe and sanitary conditions or to relocate residents.
The bill is referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.