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State public housing meets federal inspection standards

MEDIA RELEASE

For the first time in 10 years, all 5,245 public housing units managed by the state Public Housing Authority (HPHA) have passed the rigorous physical inspection standards established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

“This accomplishment reflects the focused work of the board of directors of the HPHA and their staff whose primary responsibility is to provide safe, decent and clean public housing for low-income families and senior citizens,” Gov. Linda Lingle said. “We are proud that this milestone has been achieved.”

Each year the federal government, through the Real Estate Assessment Center of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, conducts physical examinations of federally subsidized public housing across the nation.

The purpose of the inspections is to ensure that these housing units meet basic health and safety standards, including working fire alarms, safe fire exits, the absence of electrical hazards, rodent and pest control, and trash and litter removal.

Federal officials examine the building interiors, common areas, perimeter controls, and individual dwellings and score each building. A passing score is 60 or higher, out of a total possible score of 100.

In total, Hawaii’s federal inspection score increased by almost 20 percent (18.4 percent) over last year’s review, as a result of HPHA’s focused effort on training staff and better coordination.

“I commend the staff of the HPHA and appreciate the cooperation of our residents,” said HPHA board Chairman Travis Thompson. “We intend to build upon this achievement over the next year to further improve the physical condition of our buildings using federal stimulus funds, and also further train and improve the managers of our public housing buildings.”

In addition to the physical condition of public housing units, HUD also reviews the financial status of public housing agencies, their management capabilities, and also surveys public housing residence regarding their level of satisfaction with their housing. These additional reviews are currently pending.

The physical inspection scores can be viewed at:

portal.hud.gov/portal/page/por…

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