Affordable Housing Online is monitoring the federal government's response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. 

An extensive list of coronavirus resources for low-income households can be found here.

Are housing authority inspections still happening while the coronavirus crisis continues?

Answer

Most Public Housing Agencies (aka, housing authorities) are still completing emergency inspections and vacant-unit inspections for new moves, but have suspended annual inspections.

According to the COVID-19 FAQs for PHAs, the “CARES Act legislation provides HUD the ability to waive statute or regulations and impose alternative requirements to provide PHAs with flexibilities necessary to respond to COVID-19.”

PHAs are able to use different methods to complete annual inspections (PIH 2016-05), and for validating the correction of a deficiency (for example- a photo or owner certification).

Some PHAs like the Houston Housing Authority, are completing virtual inspections using technology to visually tour the unit and issuing conditional passes of inspections if no emergency deficiencies are obvious. Other PHA’s are accepting owner certifications for inspections but will follow up later, with a physical inspection after the safety concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic are over.

Small rural PHAs also have the option to move inspections to every two or three years, if they use different streamlining methods.

Whatever inspection method the PHA chooses, it must be explained to the landlord and resident in a reasonable amount of time before the inspection is due.

More FAQs from Low Income Households

  • Do I have to do anything if I’m on a rental subsidy program and become unemployed or lose hours from coronavirus?
  • Are housing authorities still open during the coronavirus outbreak?
  • Can I be evicted if I can't pay rent because of coronavirus?
  • What is the government stimulus payment?
  • Who qualifies for the government stimulus payment?