A HUD Multifamily Communications email on October 29 announced that HUD has been conducting an internal review of the Real Estate Assessment Center’s (REAC’s) 20-year-old physical inspection system. The two-page, undated document indicates that HUD intends to change the REAC system to better reflect the physical condition of privately owned, HUD-subsidized housing.
The document states that many private owners of HUD-subsidized housing have become accustomed to the inspection regime and, in some cases, do just enough to pass minimal REAC requirements instead of fully complying with their contractual obligation to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing. HUD’s goal is to design a new, simplified inspection system more focused on physical conditions within housing units and to place a greater emphasis on lead-based paint hazards and mold.
The document indicates that of the 1.2 million HUD-subsidized units, 96% receive passing REAC scores. In addition, the number of newly failed inspections declined from 649 in all of 2017 to 563 as of October 1.
Unrelated to Multifamily housing, the opening paragraph of the document states that there are 900,000 public housing units, significantly fewer than the 1.1 million HUD usually claims. The 900,000 figure is probably more accurate given years of congressional underfunding to the public housing capital fund, resulting in accelerated deterioration and increased applications to demolish public housing. Public housing has also been lost through the HOPE VI program and the shift from public housing to Section 8 rental assistance through the Rental Assistance Demonstration.
To-date, the document is not on the Multifamily or REAC webpages but can be read at: https://bit.ly/2Oj5vqK
More about HUD’s Project-Based Housing is on page 4-23 of NLIHC’s 2018 Advocates’ Guide.