As reported in last week’s Memo, HUD held the first of five listening sessions to obtain input from the public and HUD stakeholders about a planned pilot program to test innovative approaches to inspecting public housing and HUD-assisted multifamily housing. NLIHC did not attend the February 21 listening session in Philadelphia, but HUD has posted slides apparently used at the event. The slides are on the Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) webpage.
HUD lists problems with the current system, including: REAC inspections do not always identify the extent of health and safety conditions affecting residents; properties can pass inspection even with poor unit conditions; and some owners merely prepare for inspections instead of performing maintenance all year.
An Inspection Task Force will conduct a wholesale reexamination of REAC inspections, giving the greatest emphasis to eliminating health and safety hazards. The slides describe a new inspection model that places 50% of the emphasis on the inside of units, up from the current 35%. A property will not pass overall inspection if a dwelling-unit inspectable area fails.
Inspection of a unit’s water heater is offered as an example of how the new model will focus on indicators that are most important to quality. The model proposes to delete superficial rust from consideration because such a defect does not impact the resident, while a misaligned water heater exhaust system will be counted because this defect can cause death.
The new model is to be tested beginning in the fall in HUD Region III, which includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Additional listening sessions are planned for Forth Worth (March 19), Atlanta (March 21), Detroit (March 26), and Seattle (March 28). A media release from February 20 indicates the public and stakeholders will be invited, but it is not clear how residents will be invited. NLIHC will report in Memo how residents and advocates can register when HUD makes such information available.
The slides are at: https://bit.ly/2VsN0Em