Florida’s Senators Introduce the HUD Health and Safety Accountability Act

This week, Florida’s two U.S. senators–Republicans Marco Rubio and Rick Scott–showcased the “HUD Health and Safety Accountability Act.”

Rubio brought out the bill “to hold property owners and managers of Section 8 Project Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) housing accountable for health and safety conditions of properties” and which would “empower local governments to have more oversight over federal Section 8 PBRA housing within city jurisdiction and reinstate tenant surveys regarding physical conditions” last week. Scott is a co-sponsor of the proposal.

“I have seen firsthand the disgusting conditions that some affordable housing residents are forced to endure due to HUD’s neglect and property mismanagement,” Rubio said. “No one should have to live in fear of their health and safety, and I will continue to do everything in my power to ensure decent, safe, and sanitary housing for Florida families.”

“The HUD Health and Safety Accountability Act will ensure that residents in low-income and subsidized housing are living in healthy homes,” Scott said. “Through these good reforms that will increase compliance, HUD will be able to better serve tenants in need and safeguard their rights. As someone who grew up in public housing, I understand just how important these reforms are and I urge my colleagues to support this good bill so that families everywhere are living in secure and clean properties.”

The bill would “reform mandatory physical inspections and reviews of management to include responsiveness to local code enforcement and to prioritize health/safety conditions; reinstate tenant surveys based on property condition; provide tenants with relevant contact resources; and,
require a report on property conditions, compliance with HUD enforcement actions; and unlawfully missed physical inspections.”

Rubio’s bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. So far, there is no companion measure in the U.S. House.

In recent months, Rubio has been warning about problems with Section 8 Housing in Jacksonville and other parts of the state.