HUD is a program that was implemented to assist low income families, seniors, and disabled people, to find decent, safe, sanitary, AFFORDABLE housing. Through the use of Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, a ‘voucher’ holder can find an apartment/house that is being rented by a landlord who will accept it and all the requirements that go along with accepting this taxpayer funded subsidy. Once the tenant locates a landlord willing to accept the voucher, they enter into a contract(lease)for one year. The unit must first pass inspection before HUD will start making payments. If the prospective tenant moves in before HUD inspects the unit and the unit fails, the tenant is then responsible for the full of amount of the rent. The unit must pass a HQS(Housing Quality Standards)inspection. If the unit does not pass inspection, the prospective landlord and tenant are informed and the tenant must continue the search. Landlords are not required by law to accept the subsidy.
I have spent some time, tirelessly trying to get tenants who are living in HUD subsidized housing to speak out about their living conditions. Many people think that just because a poor person is being housed, they should have no complaints. My advice to you would be to ‘walk a mile in their shoes’ then talk. I have observed serious roof damage, cave-ins of ceilings, rodent infestation, broken appliances, serious electrical problems and the list goes on and on.
Posted is a picture of a HUD subsidized apartment that had a partial roof collapse and the resulting damage. The people who occupied the unit were not told to leave by the landlord even though the collapse caused such damage that they no longer had a kitchen, closets or faucets and water was dripping from the ceiling in numerous places, it was completely unsanitary. Safe and decent? Please! The landlord never missed a HUD payment. However, when notified by the city inspections department, the city cited the landlord and the tenants were then told to leave as the unit was condemned.
HUD can and should do better than this. Eradicating homelessness by providing decent, affordable, sanitary and safe housing should be THE number one priority of HUD, but from what I have observed, it is anything but.