HUD announced in a media release on February 20 a new Notice to reduce to 14 calendar days (from 120 days) the advance notification inspectors will give before conducting physical inspections of public housing and private HUD-assisted multifamily housing. The intent is to reduce the lead time public housing agency staff and owners or agents of private HUD-assisted properties use to make cosmetic repairs in order to secure a passing physical inspection score. The joint Notice PIH-2019-02/H-2019-04 applies to all properties subject to the Real Estate Assessment Center’s (REAC’s) Uniform Physical Condition Standards (UPCS).
The Notice describes steps that will be taken when property owners or agents refuse to undergo inspections:
- If an owner/agent declines to accept an inspection at the time initially notified by an inspector, the property will receive a REAC score of zero. A second attempt to schedule an inspection is possible, however.
- If an owner/agent cancels or refuses entry for an inspection scheduled during the initial notification by an inspector, the property will receive a REAC score of zero. A second attempt to schedule an inspection is possible, however.
- If the second attempt results in a completed inspection within seven calendar days of the initially scheduled date, the resulting score will be recorded.
- If the second attempt does not result in a completed inspection within seven calendar days of the initially scheduled date due to the fault of the owner/agent, the property will receive a REAC score of zero, and the owner/agent may be subject to penalties established in statute, regulation, and other sub-regulatory documents.
The HUD media release announcing the Notice also states that HUD is conducting listening sessions to gather input about a pilot program to test new approaches to REAC inspections. The first session was conducted in Philadelphia on Thursday, February 21. During a call to stakeholders on February 19, HUD announced that additional sessions are planned for Forth Worth (March 19), Atlanta (March 21), Detroit (March 26), and Seattle (March 28). The media release indicates that the public and other 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 media release also states that the Notice is part of a wholesale reexamination of the REAC inspection process (see Memo, 11/5/18). The media release indicates that public housing agencies and property owners will be consulted over the next several months; there is no reference to consulting with public housing or multifamily housing residents. The National Alliance of HUD Tenants (NAHT), the National Housing Law Project, and NLIHC have been urging HUD to notify residents of impending inspections and include residents in their properties’ REAC inspections.
The Notice is at: https://bit.ly/2ElOAkz
The February 20 HUD media release is at: https://bit.ly/2GBKqIP