The Most Northeastern City in the United States.

Housinq Quality Standards (HQS) Requirements

Caribou Municipal Building
25 High St
Caribou, Maine 04736
Lisa Plourde, Executive Director
Sue Ouellette, FSS/Homeownership
Phone: (207) 493-4234
Fax: (207) 376-0178
E-mail: housing@cariboumaine.org

 

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The Caribou Housing Agency has moved!  We are now located on the first floor of the Caribou Municipal Building.Equal Housing Opportunity

The following list of HQS items is checked at the time of an inspection.

Sanitary Facilities

The dwelling unit must include sanitary facilities within the unit.  The facilities must have hot and cold running water and must be properly trapped and vented. The facilities must utilize an approved public or private disposal system, including a locally approved septic system.

Food Preparation and Refuse Disposal

The dwelling unit must have suitable space and equipment to store, prepare and serve food in a sanitary manner. All required equipment must be in proper operating condition.  According to the lease, equipment may be supplied by either the owner or the family.  The kitchen sink must have hot and cold running water and drain into an approved public or private system.  Waste and refuse storage facilities are determined by local practice and may include trash cans or dumpster facilities.

Space and Security

The dwelling unit must provide adequate space and security for the family.   Window and door surfaces (including the frames) must be in sufficient condition to support the installation and proper operation of the windows and doors and their locking mechanism.  See chart for space requirements.

Space Requirements Minimum Area in square feet
Number of people 1 – 2 3 – 5 6 or more
Living Room N/A 120 150
Dining Room N/A 80 100
Kitchen 50 50 60
Bedroom One occupant 70 square feet 7’- 0” X 10’ – 0” or larger
Two occupants 100 square feet 10’- 0” X 10’ – 0” or larger

Note: It is recommended to check with the municipality where the subject property is located regarding their requirements.

Thermal Environment

The dwelling unit must be able to provide thermal environment that is healthy for the human body.  The heating and/or air conditioning system must be in proper operating condition.  All gas fired systems must be properly vented.  Working cooling systems are not required by HQS, but if present must be operating safely so not to create a potential fire hazard or other threat to health and safety.

Illumination and Electricity

Each room must have adequate natural or artificial illumination to permit normal indoor activities and to support the health and safety of the occupants.  The dwelling unit must have sufficient electrical sources so occupants can use essential electrical appliances.  Electrical outlets and switches must be properly installed and maintained.   There must be at least one operable window in both the living room and each sleeping room.

Structure and Materials

The dwelling unit must be structurally sound and protect the occupants, using proper maintenance and construction practices.  The unit must be weather-proofed and guard against vermin infiltration.  Handrails are required when three or more steps (risers) are present, and protective railings are required when porches, balconies and stoops are thirty inches above grade.

Interior Air Quality

The dwelling unit must be free of air pollutant levels that threaten the occupants’ health.  Windows designed to open must not be painted or nailed shut.  The ventilation fan in the bathroom must operate as intended.

Water Supply

The dwelling unit must be served by an approved public or private water supply that is sanitary and free from contamination.  All water heaters must be free of leaks, have a pressure relief valve and a properly installed discharge line.  Fuel burning equipment must have the proper clearance from combustible materials and be properly vented.

Lead Based Paint

The Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act as amended (42 U.S.C. 4821 – 4846) and the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 and implementing regulations 24 CFR Part 35 Subparts A,B,M, and R apply to the housing choice voucher program.

Access

The building must provide an alternate means of exit in case of a fire.

Site and Neighborhood

The site and neighborhood must be reasonably free from disturbing noises and reverberations or other danger to the health, safety and general welfare of the occupants.

Sanitary Conditions

The dwelling unit, its equipment, elements and components must be in sanitary condition. The unit must be free of vermin and rodent infestation.

Smoke Detectors

There must be a detector on each level of the dwelling unit including basements.

Additional detectors may be needed based on the floor plan layout of the dwelling unit.

General Inspection Requirements

The following list of basic items is checked at the time of an inspection.

All exterior surfaces

  • Surfaces must be properly installed, structurally sound, weather resistant and rodent proof.
  • Sidewalk, steps and driveways should be properly maintained and free of hazards.  Handrails and guardrails will also be inspected.
  • Yard areas and fence/gates will be checked for proper maintenance and hazards.

All interior areas

  • Windows and doors must operate properly and have the proper functioning locks.
  • Interior surfaces and trim must be properly installed and maintained.
  • Floors, walls and ceiling should be structural sound.
  • Unit should be clean and clutter free.

Plumbing

  • All fixtures must be clean and functioning properly.  The fixtures will be checked for proper water pressure and proper drainage to an approved public sewer system.
  • Fixtures will be checked for hot and cold running water.
  • The plumbing system will be checked for proper maintenance and installation.

Electric

  • All electrical equipment, wiring and appliances will be checked for proper installation.
  • Outlets and switches will be checked to make sure they function properly.
  • Every habitable space in a dwelling shall contain at least two separate and remote outlets. Every laundry area shall contain at least one grounded type outlet.  Every bathroom shall contain at least one grounded outlet.
  • Service entrance lines will be checked for proper height, clearance and installation.
  • Electrical service panels will be checked for proper fuse/breaker size and proper number of circuits.
  • Every dwelling shall be served by a main service which is not less than 60 amperes.
  • Every public hall, interior stairway, bathroom, laundry room and furnace room shall contain at least one electrical light fixture.