HUD Physical Inspection Bill Introduced

Legislation | May 20, 2021 | by Linda Couch

Three members of Congress have introduced the “HUD Inspection Act of 2021,” which would expand HUD’s response to properties within its subsidized portfolio with low physical inspection scores.

Three members of Congress have introduced the “HUD Inspection Act of 2021,” which would expand HUD’s response to properties within its subsidized portfolio with low physical inspection scores.

The bill, introduced by Representatives Al Lawson (D-FL), Alma Adams (D-NC), and Val Demings (D-FL) would require HUD to take certain actions when properties score less than 60 on an inspection or fail to promptly address life threatening conditions, strengthen the compliance process by giving owners 15 days to respond to a notice of violation; require HUD to take additional enforcement action when a property continues to be in noncompliance; and, authorize the HUD Secretary to impose financial penalties on owners that fail to maintain properties according to federal, physical standards or are repeatedly referred for remediation because of tenant surveys.

In a statement upon the bill’s introduction, Rep. Lawson said, “It is inexcusable that HUD inspectors are inaccurately passing units that display clear evidence of mold, rat infestations and sewage issues in federally assisted housing across the nation. No person should ever have to live under these horrific conditions, and these violations should receive immediate action. The HUD Inspection Act of 2021 will provide much-needed transparency in the inspection process and strengthen enforcement actions against properties owners who fail to maintain their properties. I’m proud to co-introduce this bill with Rep. Adams and Rep. Demings as we work to hold HUD, its inspectors and property managers accountable.”

The bill’s May 17 introduction follows recent attention to HUD physical inspections by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). Senator Rubio wrote to HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge on April 29, outlining quality concerns at two Jacksonville HUD-assisted communities (neither of which are LeadingAge members). This situation also raises concerns that similar conditions may be present at other properties in the State of Florida as inspections have been delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. I encourage you to resume affordable housing inspections of HUD assisted properties to ensure that these important matters are addressed,” Senator Rubio said.