In an effort to combat slumlords, Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) has reintroduced the “Housing Accountability Act,” which “would hold property owners of low-income housing accountable for poor living conditions.”
The proposal was reintroduced this week by Rubio and Senator Todd Young (R).
Speaking on the proposal, Rubio’s office noted that “the legislation would require residents of private properties that have Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contracts to be surveyed twice a year in order to determine the existence of persistence problems with a property’s physical condition or management.”
Rubio’s office added that it “codifies sanitation standards and requires the Performance-Based Contract Administrator (PBCA) of properties receiving Housing Assistance Payments from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to administer a semi-annual survey that allows tenants to report problems at their property.”
Also, HUD Secretary Ben Carson “would have the ability to refer properties for remediation or fine owners of neglected Section 8 properties based on the surveys and PBCA observation.”
Any “revenues generated from the fines may only be used to improve the conditions at the property or finance tenant relocations.”
And, the legislation “requires HUD to submit a report to Congress detailing the capital reserves for Section 8 properties and how these funds are used for purposes other than maintenance and property improvement.”
Senator Rubio also slammed the Global Ministries Foundation, which he has taken aim at before for their mishandling of public housing properties, which includes facilities across the sunshine state.
In a statement, Rubio commented that “this important legislation builds on my efforts to help those suffering in substandard HUD housing and ensure tenants feel secure in speaking out about unsafe, unhealthy living conditions.” Calling the GMF slumlords, Rubio further explained that they “have preyed on low income housing residents for far too long while stealing taxpayer dollars, and it’s long overdue that Congress held them accountable for their despicable actions.”