HUD published a Federal Register notice on September 28 announcing the extension of the National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate and Associated Protocols (NSPIRE) to April 30, 2023.
HUD sought public housing agencies (PHAs) and owners of private HUD-assisted multifamily properties in 2019 to volunteer for a Real Estate Inspection Center (REAC) pilot project called National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate (NSPIRE). As indicated in an October 29, 2018 email, HUD intends to change the 20-year-old REAC physical inspection system to better reflect the physical condition of privately owned, HUD-subsidized housing (see Memo, 11/5/18). According to a Federal Register notice on August 21, 2019, over the course of two years HUD sought to inspect 4,500 properties willing to adopt the NSPIRE model voluntarily (see Memo, 8/26/19). A list of properties approved to participate in NSPIRE as of May 1, 2021 is at: https://bit.ly/3q9ai1k
The NSPIRE model has three major components:
- Three types of inspections: self-inspections by PHAs and owners and agents of private, HUD-assisted multifamily housing, inspections conducted by contractors and/or federal inspectors, and inspections conducted solely by federal inspectors. HUD will inspect participating properties at least once during the demonstration using the NSPIRE standards.
- Three categories of physical deficiencies: health and safety, function and operability, and condition and appearance. HUD states that ideally, each category could result in emergency work orders, routine work orders, and other maintenance.
- Three inspectable areas: inside (common areas and building systems), outside (building site and building envelope), and units (the interior of an individual home).
On a related note, HUD published a proposed rule in the Federal Register on January 13 presenting a new approach to define and assess housing quality among HUD programs, calling the approach NSPIRE. The intent of the proposed rule, along with the existing NSPIRE demonstration, is to improve HUD oversight by aligning the physical inspection regulations used to evaluate HUD-assisted housing across multiple HUD programs to create a unified assessment of housing quality. HUD programs currently evaluate housing quality using different inspection standards, protocols, and frequencies. NLIHC has issued a detailed summary of specific proposed NSPIRE provisions.
The Federal Register notice is at: https://bit.ly/3kSOMOH
The NSPIRE webpage is at: https://bit.ly/2MQ9Lmr
The NSPIRE resident engagement webpage is at: https://bit.ly/3nD70BT
More information about public housing is on page 4-30 of NLIHC’s 2021 Advocates’ Guide.
More information about multifamily housing is on page 4-64 of NLIHC’s 2021 Advocates’ Guide.