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S. 160 (115th): HUD Inspection Process and Enforcement Reform Act of 2017

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jan 17, 2017.

HUD Inspection Process and Enforcement Reform Act of 2017

This bill allows the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to remove certain HUD employees from civil service or to reduce their grade or pay for misconduct or performance. HUD employees may challenge a removal or reduction in grade or pay by filing an appeal with the Merit Systems Protection Board.

This bill amends the United States Housing Act of 1937 to require an entity receiving section 8 housing assistance payments under a payment contract to: (1) maintain decent, safe, and sanitary conditions for dwelling units covered under such payment contract; and (2) comply with any standards under applicable state or local laws, rules, ordinances, or regulations relating to the physical condition of the dwelling units. HUD must, under certain conditions, take enforcement actions for violations of dwelling-unit physical condition standards.

HUD may provide tenant-based assistance for dwelling units covered under a section 8 payment contract if: (1) the dwelling units' owner has received a Notice of Default; or (2) the units pose an imminent health and safety risk to tenants. A Notice of Default cites deficiencies in the physical condition of a section 8 dwelling unit and provides a specified period of time for correction of such deficiencies.

HUD must issue a publicly available report on its website regarding Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) inspections of all properties assisted, insured, or both, under a HUD program.

The Government Accountability Office must issue a report on its website regarding such REAC inspection areas that should be reformed and improved.