HUD requires that all units occupied by families receiving Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) assistance meet HUD's Housing Quality Standards (HQS) and permits the PHA to establish additional requirements. The use of the term "HQS" in this plan refers to the combination of both HUD and PHA-established requirements.
All units must pass an HQS inspection prior to the approval of a lease and at least once every 12 months during the term of the contract, and at other times as needed, to determine that the unit meets HQS. HUD also requires all Pubic Housing Authorities to determine that rents for units under the program are reasonable when compared to comparable unassisted units in the market area.
Effective December 11, 2017, the City of Oswego Common Council adopted as part of this administrative plan the ability for the HA to insert certain local variances into HQS based on the International Property Maintenance Code. In addition, the City of Oswego Common required each unit participating in the program to have a valid City of Oswego rental permit to be consistent with same requirement for unassisted rental units within the same jurisdiction.
All rental units in the City of Oswego must have a valid rental permit. Verification of rental permit will be included as part of the HQS inspection process. This is a local law. If a rental permit is revoked, the owner has 30 days to clarify, in writing, that the rental permit has been reissued.Any open issues with The City of Oswego Code Enforcement Office must be resolved within 30 days of notification. Compliance must be, in writing, to avoid any monthly HAP payments being withheld. This would include any authorized extensions from the code office.
The Rental Assistance Program, is a beta-test agency for UPCS-V by the HUD field office. As of April 2018, the PHA is using the latest edition (still in beta-test) as the HCV inspection standard. UPCS-V is a significantly higher (and less subjective) set of standards than HQS.
Effective March 12, 2018, the City of Oswego Common Council adopted Local Law #2 of 2018 which amended Chapter 249 of the Code of the City of Oswego related to property maintenance. Specific chapters within the code cited within Local Variances to HQS are chapters 249-9 and 249-9.1 related to outdoor use/storage of upholstered furniture and junk storage.
Although the Rental Assistance Program is NOT required to enforce standards set forth in the New York State Building/Housing Codes and/or the other building/housing codes in within the Program's jurisdiction, the Program will cooperate, to the greatest extent possible, with local code enforcement officials to obtain uniformity of inspections. Efforts will be made at all times to encourage owners to provide housing above HQS minimum standards. The Rental Assistance Program, will not promote any additional acceptability criteria which are likely to adversely affect the health or safety of participant families, or severely restrict housing choice.
For additional information, please contact the Rental Assistance Program Office and/or review the HQS section under the Administrative Plan portion of the website.