United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: May 30, 2020
The Secretary may include in any contract for loans, contributions, sale, lease, mortgage, or any other agreement or instrument made pursuant to this chapter, such covenants, conditions, or provisions as he may deem necessary in order to insure the lower income character of the project involved, in a manner consistent with the public housing agency plan. Any such contract shall require that, except in the case of housing predominantly for elderly or disabled families, high-rise elevator projects shall not be provided for families with children unless the Secretary makes a determination that there is no practical alternative.
Every contract for contributions with respect to a low-income housing project shall provide that no contributions by the Secretary shall be made available for such project unless such project (exclusive of any portion thereof which is not assisted by contributions under this chapter) is exempt from all real and personal property taxes levied or imposed by the State, city, county, or other political subdivision; and such contract shall require the public housing agency to make payments in lieu of taxes equal to 10 per centum of the sum of the shelter rents charged in such project, or such lesser amount as (i) is prescribed by State law, or (ii) is agreed to by the local governing body in its agreement for local cooperation with the public housing agency required under section 1437c(e)(2) of this title, or (iii) is due to failure of a local public body or bodies other than the public housing agency to perform any obligation under such agreement. If any such project is not exempt from all real and personal property taxes levied or imposed by the State, city, county, or other political subdivision, such contract shall provide, in lieu of the requirement for tax exemption and payments in lieu of taxes, that no contributions by the Secretary shall be made available for such project unless and until the State, city, county, or other political subdivision in which such project is situated shall contribute, in the form of cash or tax remission, the amount by which the taxes paid with respect to the project exceed 10 per centum of the shelter rents charged in such project.
Each contract for contributions for a public housing agency shall require that the agency maintain its public housing in a condition that complies with standards which meet or exceed the housing quality standards established under paragraph (2).
The Secretary shall establish housing quality standards under this paragraph that ensure that public housing dwelling units are safe and habitable. Such standards shall include requirements relating to habitability, including maintenance, health and sanitation factors, condition, and construction of dwellings, and shall, to the greatest extent practicable, be consistent with the standards established under section 1437f(o)(8)(B)(i) of this title. The Secretary may determine whether the laws, regulations, standards, or codes of any State or local jurisdiction meet or exceed these standards, for purposes of this subsection.
Each public housing agency that owns or operates public housing shall make an annual inspection of each public housing project to determine whether units in the project are maintained in accordance with the requirements under paragraph (1). The agency shall retain the results of such inspections and, upon the request of the Secretary, the Inspector General for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or any auditor conducting an audit under section 1437c(h) of this title, shall make such results available.
On or after
The Secretary may, upon application by a public housing agency in connection with the acquisition of housing for use as public housing, establish and set aside a reserve fund in an amount not to exceed 30 per centum of the acquisition cost which shall be available for use for major repairs to such housing.
The Secretary shall not impose any unnecessarily duplicative or burdensome reporting requirements on tenants or public housing agencies assisted under this chapter.
When a public housing agency evicts an individual or family from a dwelling unit for engaging in criminal activity, including drug-related criminal activity, the public housing agency shall notify the local post office serving that dwelling unit that such individual or family is no longer residing in the dwelling unit.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, except as provided in subparagraph (C), the National Crime Information Center, police departments, and other law enforcement agencies shall, upon request, provide information to public housing agencies regarding the criminal conviction records of adult applicants for, or tenants of, covered housing assistance for purposes of applicant screening, lease enforcement, and eviction.
A public housing agency may make a request under subparagraph (A) for information regarding applicants for, or tenants of, housing that is provided project-based assistance under section 1437f of this title only if the housing is located within the jurisdiction of the agency and the owner of such housing has requested that the agency obtain such information on behalf of the owner. Upon such a request by the owner, the agency shall make a request under subparagraph (A) for the information. The agency may not make such information available to the owner but shall perform determinations for the owner regarding screening, lease enforcement, and eviction based on criteria supplied by the owner.
A law enforcement agency described in subparagraph (A) shall provide information under this paragraph relating to any criminal conviction of a juvenile only to the extent that the release of such information is authorized under the law of the applicable State, tribe, or locality.
Before an adverse action is taken with regard to assistance under this subchapter on the basis of a criminal record, the public housing agency shall provide the tenant or applicant with a copy of the criminal record and an opportunity to dispute the accuracy and relevance of that record.
A public housing agency may be charged a reasonable fee for information provided under paragraph (1). In the case of a public housing agency obtaining information pursuant to paragraph (1)(B) for another owner of housing, the agency may pass such fee on to the owner initiating the request and may charge additional reasonable fees for making the request on behalf of the owner and taking other actions for owners under this subsection.
A public housing agency receiving information under this subsection may use such information only for the purposes provided in this subsection and such information may not be disclosed to any person who is not an officer, employee, or authorized representative of the agency and who has a job-related need to have access to the information in connection with admission of applicants, eviction of tenants, or termination of assistance. For judicial eviction proceedings, disclosures may be made to the extent necessary. The Secretary shall, by regulation, establish procedures necessary to ensure that information provided under this subsection to a public housing agency is used, and confidentiality of such information is maintained, as required under this subsection. The Secretary shall establish standards for confidentiality of information obtained under this subsection by public housing agencies on behalf of owners.
Any person who knowingly and willfully requests or obtains any information concerning an applicant for, or tenant of, covered housing assistance pursuant to the authority under this subsection under false pretenses, or any person who knowingly and willfully discloses any such information in any manner to any individual not entitled under any law to receive it, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not more than $5,000. The term “person” as used in this paragraph include 11
Any applicant for, or tenant of, covered housing assistance affected by (A) a negligent or knowing disclosure of information referred to in this subsection about such person by an officer, employee, or authorized representative of any public housing agency, which disclosure is not authorized by this subsection, or (B) any other negligent or knowing action that is inconsistent with this subsection, may bring a civil action for damages and such other relief as may be appropriate against any public housing agency responsible for such unauthorized action. The district court of the United States in the district in which the affected applicant or tenant resides, in which such unauthorized action occurred, or in which the officer, employee, or representative alleged to be responsible for any such unauthorized action resides, shall have jurisdiction in such matters. Appropriate relief that may be ordered by such district courts shall include reasonable attorney’s fees and other litigation costs.
The term “adult” means a person who is 18 years of age or older, or who has been convicted of a crime as an adult under any Federal, State, or tribal law.
The term “owner” means, with respect to covered housing assistance described in subparagraph (B)(ii), the entity or private person (including a cooperative or public housing agency) that has the legal right to lease or sublease dwelling units in the housing assisted.
A public housing agency may establish procedures for maintaining waiting lists for admissions to public housing projects of the agency, which may include (notwithstanding any other law, regulation, handbook, or notice to the contrary) a system of site-based waiting lists under which applicants may apply directly at or otherwise designate the project or projects in which they seek to reside. All such procedures shall comply with all provisions of title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 [42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.], the Fair Housing Act [42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq.], and other applicable civil rights laws.
Any system described in paragraph (1) shall provide for the full disclosure by the public housing agency to each applicant of any option available to the applicant in the selection of the project in which to reside.
A public housing agency may require, as a condition of providing admission to the public housing program or assisted housing program under the jurisdiction of the public housing agency, that each adult member of the household provide a signed, written authorization for the public housing agency to obtain records described in subsection (q)(1) regarding such member of the household from the National Crime Information Center, police departments, and other law enforcement agencies.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law other than the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 201 et seq.), a public housing agency may require each person who applies for admission to public housing to sign one or more forms of written consent authorizing the agency to receive information from a drug abuse treatment facility that is solely related to whether the applicant is currently engaging in the illegal use of a controlled substance.
In a form of written consent, a public housing agency may request only whether the drug abuse treatment facility has reasonable cause to believe that the applicant is currently engaging in the illegal use of a controlled substance.
In addition to the requirements of subparagraph (B), an applicant’s signed written consent shall expire automatically after the public housing agency has made a final decision to either approve or deny the applicant’s application for admittance to public housing.
A public housing agency may only require an applicant for admission to public housing to sign one or more forms of written consent under this subsection if the public housing agency requires all such applicants to sign the same form or forms of written consent.
A drug abuse treatment facility may charge a public housing agency a reasonable fee for information provided under this subsection.
A drug abuse treatment facility shall not be liable for damages based on any information required to be disclosed pursuant to this subsection if such disclosure is consistent with section 543 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 290dd–2).
A public housing agency shall not be liable for damages based on its decision not to require each person who applies for admission to public housing to sign one or more forms of written consent authorizing the public housing agency to receive information from a drug abuse treatment facility under this subsection.
The term “controlled substance” has the meaning given the term in section 802 of title 21.
The term “currently engaging in the illegal use of a controlled substance” means the illegal use of a controlled substance that occurred recently enough to justify a reasonable belief that an applicant’s illegal use of a controlled substance is current or that continuing illegal use of a controlled substance by the applicant is a real and ongoing problem.
This subsection shall take effect on