“One of my responsibilities is to provide safe, decent and sanitary housing for everyone who qualifies for rental assistance, whether it’s public housing, U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development or Section 8,” Salazar said.
That requires the BHA staff to inspect the properties where people live who are receiving assistance.
In addition to the initial inspection when people move in and the final inspection when they move out, the residences are inspected on an annual basis.
“On several occasions we have had to terminate a tenant’s rental assistance due to a failed inspection because they did not meet the housing quality standard set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Salazar said.”
“At inspection we expect to find no dirty dishes in the sink, floor swept and mopped, clean bathrooms, clean appliances and no trash or clothes all over the house.”
In many cases, tenants have home providers sent by different agencies to help them with cooking, cleaning and other chores, often including even more extended assistance.
However, when the home providers fail to perform their duties completely it is the tenant who suffers because the residences do not meet the standards required by HUD and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development because their homes or apartments are not decent, safe or sanitary.
Salazar said she believes that many of the problems are the fault of the home providers who go to the homes and not the fault of the agencies for which they work.
“I feel there is a need for all of the agencies that provide some kind of service to the elderly, disabled and handicapped to meet and discuss what can be done to protect these families,” Salazar said.
She is asking that anyone who has an interest in the service that is supposed to be provided to the tenants attend a meeting on Thursday, July 23, at 10 a.m. at the BHA’s DeRusse Center at 1105 W. Clare St.
Salazar said the purpose of the meeting is to provide some education on how to protect the families who receive the service to protect them from abuse.
Salazar said the abuse not only comes in the form of the home providers not doing what they were hired to do. Sometimes the tenants are victimized by workers who actually take things from them.
Salazar said that anyone who needs instructions on how to find the BHA’s DeRusse Center may call the office at 362-0399 for directions.