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  1. #1

    Default How to Find Regulations for Subsidized Housing

    I am in the Housing choice voucher program. I have located and read HUDs housing quality requirements (HQS) rules, treat basically stipulate the inspection pass/fails for a housing tenant.
    I believe I am being held to a different standard because of my disability, my husbands disabilities and our sons special needs.

    I am trying to locate the following:

    1) HQS requirements for WA state/king county (if different)

    2) Apartment sanitation requirements (for tenant) WA/King County

    3) code enforcement : fire hazard, fall hazard, etc regulations. WA/ King county.

    I need these so I can find out what is REALLY required, and what isn't. Also, what he says is different from his supervisor. I simply want to be armed with the law.

    I DID contact my inspectors supervisor, who IMMEDIATELY threatened to call the fire marshall and code enforcement to inspect my unit. She knows I'm disabled, and is causing me distress.

    So I'd like to know what the code requirements for fire hazard, fall/tripping hazards, storage, and sanitation.

    Thanks for your assistance without judgement.



    Here is the basic background, for those who want/ need more information.

    As a Section 8 tenant, I have an inspection every 2 years. Last year, we suffered 4 robberies of our garage, and ended up moving the remaining items into our apartment. My bedroom was turned into a storage room. There are boxes currently stacked in that room, with a 2-3ft egress/escape route with the window accessible, 2 feet from the window to any item.

    Our inspector has failed us for MULTIPLE items that he passed us on the previous inspection.

    The first item being "items stacked/stored over 5 feet high"
    So this completely eliminates having bookshelves... because "items over 5 feet can fall in an earthquake."

    He has also failed us for "unsanitary kitchen"
    Because I had pots from the previous nights dinner soaking, and my kitchen table was busy. (A microwave we're giving away, a couple clean pots, slow cooker, some cans of food etc. ) there is also a large, EMPTY box we use to block the kitchen window. Its at ground level (the back has a higher ground) and people can sit outside it, looking in.(and have) our son has SEVERE anxiety, and dears people looking in our vertical blinds. The box serves as his comfort no one is seeing him walk around in his medical items.
    We do NOT use the table for eating. Its basically a round shelf that aids in counter space.
    Our floor, cabinets, stove, fridge etc were clean. No dirt, mold or infestations.
    But its "unsanitary".

    He failed us for "entire bathroom unsanitary".
    I'll admit my toilet was dirty inside, but he did NOT lift the seat cover.
    The floor, sink and garbage was clean.
    Our bathtub has a medical bath chair and stool, for my husband and myself, and also our medical toilet, which resides in our living room, was set inside to allow him ease of inspection.

    We also failed because our fridge drawer was missing. Apparently it's an INTEGRAL part of the fridge. The examples given for integral pieces were "doors, handles and controls" so yeah... totally see how a DRAWER could be as important as a drawer. (Sarcasm... lol I stopped assuming others know)

    There are others, but nothing as important as these. The ones that I agree with have been remedied. I just feel like I'm being railroaded, and do not like this.
    We previously lived in Seattle, where we moved from a 1200 sf unit to a 730sf. Our entire living room became storage, with the appropriate egress to the balcony. (It was opposite the rooms we used for living)
    We did not fail ONCE, and it was FULL, with boxes stacked to the ceiling. Didn't fail once.
    If all PHAs follow the HUD standards, how can I fail for an identical item? (In the previous setting, my landlord actually complained about it, and asked for a special inspection...the inspector stated it was not a hazard, since I had appropriate egress.

    Anyway, thanks for reading.
    God Bless.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How to Find Regulations for Subsidized Housing

    You can find regulations for the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) through HUD or by going to the Code of Federal Regulations.

    In terms of state regulation, you can investigate with the state to see if additional regulations apply. Start here.

    For local regulations, check with the local government. You need to look at municipal regulations in addition to county regulations.

    For broader regulations of all rental units, check state law, as well as state and local regulations.

    You are not entitled to engage in behaviors that others are reasonably going to interpret as dangerous hoarding, or as leaving the unit in an unsanitary condition such that it creates potential risk to occupants or other tenants, or could attract insects and vermin. You're not going to get anywhere by pretending that a prohibition on stacking objects in five foot (or higher) stacks means that you can't have bookshelves.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2014
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    Default Re: How to Find Regulations for Subsidized Housing

    Your unit has to pass the same inspection others do. You cannot pass an inspection. if your unit is a fire hazard. You cannot pass an inspection if your unit is unsanitary.

    Did you know the inspection was coming ? If you did. Your unit should have been clean. If you cannot keep your unit clean due to Your Disabilities. You can ci tact Medicaid and ask for Long Term Personal Care Services. You may or may not qualify. A state evaluator will evaluate you and decide. If you are disabled according to SSA. You can request Reasonable Accommodations. Ask for extra time to get your unit so it will pass. Housing may or may not grant the request.

    If this was your first inspection. You need to have everything taken care of by the second one. If not, if they fail you. You will more than likely lose your housing assistance. You can appeal the decision. But that does not mean you will win an appeal.

    How you view the regulations does not matter. It is how the inspector and housing view them that matters.

  4. #4

    Default Re: How to Find Regulations for Subsidized Housing

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    You can find regulations for the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) through HUD or by going to the Code of Federal Regulations.
    *Thanks. These are the same HUD hqs requirements I have already gone over repeatedly. *

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    In terms of state regulation, you can investigate with the state to see if additional regulations apply. Start here.

    For local regulations, check with the local government. You need to look at municipal regulations in addition to county regulations.

    For broader regulations of all rental units, check state law, as well as state and local regulations.
    *I have searched EVERYWHERE. I have looked at state code, public health, code enforcement, fire marshall/fire dept codes, laws and regulations. NOTHING describes ACTUAL law or regulations as to specifics that apply. IE: required to have 2 feet egress. Required to keep storage at 6 feet or 5 feet in an unused closed off room. etc.*

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    You are not entitled to engage in behaviors that others are reasonably going to interpret as dangerous hoarding, or as leaving the unit in an unsanitary condition such that it creates potential risk to occupants or other tenants, or could attract insects and vermin.
    *Please don't misunderstand. My apartment is clean. We live in a complex surrounded by rats, roaches and all manner of bugs. I do not have ANY in my unit. Not even baby ants. The occasional fruit fly not withstanding, we are infestation free.
    My unit does not attract these.*

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    You're not going to get anywhere by pretending that a prohibition on stacking objects in five foot (or higher) stacks means that you can't have bookshelves.
    *I'm trying to locate ANY written legal requirements that says I cannot have a box of photos on the top of my bookshelf, or my sons transformers toy box on a stack of other boxes.
    In my living room, the storage boxes ARE BELOW 5 FEET. On top of them is a transformers toy in the box, a headphones box, a empty popcorn tin. Those extend "above 5 feet" thats what he's referring to.
    I also have a collection of teddy bears on top of a rolltop desk, which reach above 5 feef
    This is my point... Its not unsanitary, not a fall hazard and not "dangerous hoarding" which, by the way, is the compulsive collecting of items that have no value, even when they are no longer useful....IE: stacks of newspapers, bags of garbage, tons of empty laundry bottles. The items in my boxes are from my garage which was storage. These include a coca cola and rubber duckie collection, transformer collection and seasonal clothing. When we moved, mine and my sons collections could not be displayed properly, and were put into storage. *

    Quote Quoting Mercy&Grace
    View Post
    Your unit has to pass the same inspection others do. You cannot pass an inspection. if your unit is a fire hazard. You cannot pass an inspection if your unit is unsanitary.
    *I'm WELL aware of this... I'm asking for the legal requirements that determine if a unit is a fire hazard or unsanitary. I do not believe my unit is. While my apartment is fuller than some, it's clean, stacked safely and safe.
    Every cord or wire is carefully covered or taped down with black duct tape. My husband and I both have physical disabilities that can cause falls from a cord, so everything is carefully covered. Even a carpet at the door or entrance to the kitchen is carefully taped down for safety.*

    Quote Quoting Mercy&Grace
    View Post
    Did you know the inspection was coming ? If you did. Your unit should have been clean. If you cannot keep your unit clean due to Your Disabilities. You can ci tact Medicaid and ask for Long Term Personal Care Services. You may or may not qualify. A state evaluator will evaluate you and decide. If you are disabled according to SSA. You can request Reasonable Accommodations. Ask for extra time to get your unit so it will pass. Housing may or may not grant the request.
    *I'm not sure why you're assuming that my unit was some atrocious mess. If I'm attempting to fight my failed inspection and searching for their requirements, one could infer that I believe my house SHOULD HAVE PASSED.
    *
    Quote Quoting Mercy&Grace
    View Post
    If this was your first inspection.You need to have everything taken care of by the second one. If not, if they fail you. You will more than likely lose your housing assistance. You can appeal the decision. But that does not mean you will win an appeal
    *I have been on section 8 for many years. Yearly inspections are norm. I'm ACUTELY aware of what's necessary to pass the inspection. This is why this fail has me stumped... But thanks for giving all kinds of information I didn't ask for. If by chance you have SPECIFIC KNOWLEDGE of the laws or where to locate these laws, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ASSIST. But you're sitting here explaining how an inspection works is a waste of time. I know how it works better than you, I'm sure.*

    Quote Quoting Mercy&Grace
    View Post
    How you view the regulations does not matter. It is how the inspector and housing view them that matters.
    *actually "how you VIEW" the regulations implies that you can pick and choose your interpretation. This is incorrect. Im not trying to interpret them to fit me. I'm trying to LOCATE THE LEGAL STANDARDS to make sure I'm abiding by THEM, and not whatever personal standards the inspector has.
    The inspector felt like MEDICAL DEVICES MEANT TO BE IN MY TUB that WERE in my tub made my bathroom "unsanitary".
    My bathroom was clean.

    So again... I'm not looking for conjecture, advice, inspection descriptions or your assumptions of how I live. I'm looking for LEGAL REGULATIONS THAT DESCRIBE
    Fall/tripping hazard, fire hazard, sanitation and any hqs requirements King County has that HUD does not.*

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Default Re: How to Find Regulations for Subsidized Housing

    You said your toilet was dirty. That makes your bathroom unsanitary. The conditions in your kitchen. Make your kitchen unsanitary.


    Did you know ahead of time the day the inspector was to inspect your unit ? If you did. your unit should have been cleaned. Even if you did not. Your unit should have been clean.

    You need to spend your time getting your unit ready. If you fail the second inspection. You will lose your housing.

    You are not going to find the specific details you are looking for.

  6. #6

    Default Re: How to Find Regulations for Subsidized Housing

    Lol... so dirty dishes makes your entire kitchen unsanitary?? Seriously? So every home in the world is unsanitary several times each day? Get real...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    3,028

    Default Re: How to Find Regulations for Subsidized Housing

    Some of our clients received Section 8. A few failed inspections. When they did. it was part of my job to help them past the second one.

    You are not going to find specific information about the dishes. Look for the specifics in Fire Code Regulations in your county, city and state. If you cannot find them online. You can call each office and ask.

    You need to understand. Section 8 inspectors know what to look for. They receive training. Their opinion matters. Your opinion is just that. Your opinion.

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