A LEGAL COMPLIANCE GUIDE FOR THE LOW-INCOME HOUSING TAX CREDIT COMMUNITY
F e b r ua ry 2010
inside this issue Fe ature
Health & Safety: Deadline Approaches
for Lead-Safe Work Practices, Training,
and Certification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
seven Common Mistakes to Avoid
Model Form: Use Form to Determine
When Preparing for ReAC inspection
Whether Resident’s Clutter Is a Chipping and peeling paint on a building’s exterior. Loose wood sid-
Safety Risk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
ing. Exposed wiring. Rusted steps and railings. These were just some
of the problems uncovered during the Real Estate Assessment Center’s
hud: Owner discriminated (REAC) inspection of a 77-unit Section 8 project. And after receiving
Based on number of Children low scores on two consecutive physical inspections, HUD terminated
the owner’s Section 8 payments.
In a recent HUD case, a single mom
was denied housing for having too The annual REAC inspection is a critical indicator of a federally
many children. assisted site’s ability to maintain the physical standards established
HUD is charging a Las Vegas real by HUD to ensure that residents are provided with decent, safe, and
estate broker and two homeowners sanitary housing. Failing to take the inspections seriously can result in
with violating the Fair Housing Act by severe financial consequences.
denying a mother of seven the oppor- And yet, so many Section 8 projects do not. While most see the
tunity to rent a four-bedroom home value in compliance training for site staff on topics like income lim-
because they thought she had too many its, setting rents, or eligibility requirements, many overlook the need to
children. According to HUD, a single educate site management about the REAC inspection process and Uni-
mother of four, who was in the pro-
(continued on p. 2)
cess of adopting three foster children,
sought to rent a four-bedroom house.
Dealing with householDs
Upon receiving her application, the
leasing agent allegedly stated that the
owner would allow a maximum of five take steps early to deal with
children, even though the house could
easily accommodate eight residents.
In a recent television program, a 65-year-old woman living on her own
“Policies that unreasonably limit
became sick and collapsed in her home. When rescue workers arrived,
the number of people who can live in
they found her in the kitchen wedged among mountains of clutter,
a home discriminate against families
trash, and human feces. She had to be removed through the window.
with children and violate the federal
The show, called Hoarders, is not a television drama or movie of the
Fair Housing Act,” said John Trasvi-
week. It’s a reality series airing on A&E that offers a gripping view into
na, HUD’s assistant secretary for Fair
Housing and Equal Opportunity. The the lives of compulsive hoarders, and the impact that their illnesses
Fair Housing Act prohibits housing have had on their lives and their families’ lives.
discrimination based on family status, Rising media attention has focused the public eye on hoarding,
including discrimination based on the although individuals who suffer from the disorder tend to shy away
number of children in a household. from social contact, often making it difficult for outsiders to identify
If the judge finds that discrimination the early symptoms of hoarding.
has occurred, he may award the woman “People who hoard don’t like to broadcast it,” says Mark Schro-
damages and impose civil penalties on