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RULE §1.2Department Complaint System to the Department

(a) Purpose. The purpose of this section is to establish the procedures by which complaints are filed with the Department and how the Department handles those complaints under Department jurisdiction in compliance with Tex. Gov't Code §2306.066, Tex. Gov't Code, Chapter 2105, Subchapter C, and 24 CFR §91.115(h), as applicable.

(b) Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this section, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

  (1) Complaint--A complaint submitted to the Department in writing (via mailed letter, fax, email, or submitted online through the Department website) from a person that believes the Department has the authority to resolve the issue. This excludes consumer complaints relating to manufactured housing.

  (2) Complaint Coordinator--Department employee designated by the Executive Director or his designee to monitor the Public Complaint System and coordinate activities related to complaints.

  (3) Complaint Liaison--the Department employee(s) designated by each division to handle each division's complaint-related issues.

  (4) Department--The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

  (5) Person--Any individual, other than an employee of the Department, and any partnership, corporation, association, governmental subdivision, or public or private organization of any character.

  (6) Public Complaint System--Department-created system used to track and process complaints received by the Department.

(c) Procedures. A person who has a Complaint may submit such Complaint to the Department for submission to a Complaint Coordinator. If an accommodation because of a disability is needed in relation to a Complaint, the Person interested in filing the Complaint should refer to 10 TAC §1.1, Reasonable Accommodation Requests; if assistance is needed for non-English speaking persons, the Person interested in filing the Complaint should access the Department's Language Assistance webpage (https://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/lap.htm).

  (1) A Complaint Coordinator shall enter the complaint in the Public Complaint System, review and process the complaint, and forward the complaint to the appropriate Complaint Liaison.

  (2) A Complaint Liaison shall investigate and resolve or close the Complaint. A Complaint Liaison shall enter summaries of contact with the complainant and actions leading to complaint resolution in the Public Complaint System.

  (3) The Complaint Coordinator will submit periodic summary reports or analysis to the Executive Director or designee.

  (4) The Department shall provide to the Person filing the Complaint, and to each Person who is a subject of the Complaint, a copy of this rule, which serves as the Department's policy and procedures relating to complaint investigation and resolution.

  (5) The Department shall either notify the complainant of the resolution of the Complaint within 15 business days after the date the Complaint was received by the Department, or notify the complainant, within such period, of the date the complainant can expect a response to the Complaint.

  (6) The Department shall notify the complainant of the status of the Complaint at least quarterly and until the final disposition of the Complaint.

  (7) An information file about each complaint shall be maintained. The file must include:

    (A) the Complaint number;

    (B) the name of the person who filed the Complaint;

    (C) the date the Complaint was received by the Department;

    (D) the subject matter of the Complaint;

    (E) the name of each Person contacted in relation to the Complaint;

    (F) a summary of the results of the review or investigation of the Complaint; and

    (G) an explanation of the reason the file was closed, if the Department closed the file without taking action other than to investigate the Complaint.

  (8) A Complaint may be withdrawn by the complainant at any time.

  (9) A complainant may request and receive from the Department copies of any documentation or records collected by the Department with regard to the complaint subject to the Texas Public Information Act.

  (10) Adherence to these procedures is not required by the Department if another procedure is required by law, or if the following of a procedure above would jeopardize an undercover investigation.

Source Note: The provisions of this §1.2 adopted to be effective September 27, 2018, 43 TexReg 6247

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