National Alliance of HUD Tenants

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Housing Issues

Tenant groups and individuals across the country are facing many issues with their homes.  At NAHT, we believe that everyone should have the right to quality, affordable, and safe housing. Below are some of the common issues that NAHT works with tenant groups to tackle, as well as some tips on getting repairs.

Getting Repairs in Section 8 and HUD-Subsidized Housing

Important: Do not withhold rent under any circumstances. This will only provide an easy way for your landlord to evict you. If you are considering deducting for the cost of repairs or withholding rent to force your landlord to make repairs, consult an attorney first.

  1. If you have repair needs you should always start by putting a request for repairs in writing to your manager or landlord. Many buildings have a repair request form available. You may mail or hand deliver this but, make sure to date and sign the letter and save a copy for your records.
  1. Ask for a response within a certain time period (between 3-10 days, depending on the seriousness of the problem).If you do not get a timely response, you should contact the proper authorities:

Since you are in subsidized housing, your landlord is accountable to the HUD Housing Quality Standards, which is the housing code for Federal housing. Your local Housing Authority has the duty to enforce this code.

If you have a Section 8 Voucher: You can call a Section 8 inspector.  If you don’t know who your inspector is, you can ask your caseworker. The name of the Inspector for your property should also be on your Housing Authority notices regarding rent increases, re-certification and inspection papers. They will be listed by first initial and last name after your caseworker’s name under their signature.

You also can find out who your Inspector is by looking them up on the HUD inspector page. You can also file a formal complaint with Multifamily Housing Complaint Line.

Another thing you can do if your landlord is not doing repairs is call your City’s Department of Building Inspections/Inspectional Services, which is the agency that enforces the city housing code in your city.

If your problem involves vermin, mold, or insect infestation you can also contact your regional Health Department to help document the problem. Request that they send an inspector to view the problem.

In HUD Subsidized housing, you can also send a copy of your letter to your local HUD office. You can call to ask who the Project Manager or Project Chief for your property. Address your letter to the Asset Management Department.

HUD also has a toll free number to report “bad landlords” at 1-800-685-8470.

If you still do not get a response from HUD, you may want to contact your Congressperson since they have jurisdiction over HUD.

If you need further help, call us at 617-522-4523.

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