Thursday, May 25, 2017

MoCo HOC audited by feds: 75% of units didn't meet HUD standards, 405 code violations found (Photos)

Montgomery County's Housing Opportunities Commission is in an aggressive expansion mode, but an audit of their existing housing by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development found 56 out of the 75 HOC units inspected did not meet HUD standards. 405 code violations were found, 89 of which were deemed so serious that HUD required them to be corrected in 24 hours. The audit findings were first reported by the Parents' Coalition of Montgomery County.
Would you use this moldy
shower at an HOC unit
in Montgomery County?
Auditors also learned that HOC was using its own contracted inspectors to inspect its units, a violation of Section 10.8 of HUD's Housing Choice Voucher Handbook. Violations found by HUD inspectors included missing smoke detectors, moldy and mildewed showers and ceilings, exposed sewer pipes, and an improperly-vented hot water heater that could have prevented gas from being exhausted out of the building properly. Combined with a second gas-related violation that "could result in an explosion," the findings are particularly disturbing after the 2016 Flower Branch apartments explosion, which killed 7 people.
One of two gas-venting
violations found in HOC housing
auditors said "could result in an
In all, auditors determined that $44,887 in federal taxpayer money given to HOC could have been "put to better use" on housing that would comply with HUD standards, a waste of tax dollars during an affordable housing crisis. Auditors have advised HUD that it should require HOC to reimburse HUD for the wasted funds.
Exposed sewer pipe
where a toilet was removed
but never replaced
HOC is a partner with Regency Centers in the proposed redevelopment on Westbard Avenue in Bethesda. The audit report follows the revelation earlier this week that Regency Centers was in arrears to Montgomery County, having not paid taxes on two Westbard properties.

Once again, the Montgomery County Council has failed to perform its oversight role over the HOC.


  1. Do you know what apartment buildings these violations are in ?

    1. They are in the buildings actually owned or leased by the HOC. However, the specific buildings were not disclosed in the report.