HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) posted two new features on the website of the National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate (NSPIRE) demonstration, both in response to resident suggestions.
First, HUD will test methods for including up to five additional units to inspect, identified in advance by a resident organization, beyond the units randomly selected by inspectors during REAC inspections. If a property is not represented by a resident organization, NSPIRE will use a risk model to select additional units. Second, HUD will explore how to design and conduct resident surveys and how to integrate survey findings into the NSPIRE demonstration. HUD’s REAC inspection system used to include a resident service and satisfaction indicator (RASS) that was based on a resident survey. The RASS was dropped in 2011. The National Alliance of HUD Tenants (NAHT) has been advocating for these two provisions, among others, for many years.
Although HUD stated in February that the public and stakeholders would be invited to listening sessions about the NSPIRE demonstration, HUD only belatedly informed residents and advocates about how they could participate in remaining listening sessions after calls to HUD by NLIHC (see Memo, 3/11). NLIHC is not aware of any active outreach made to resident organizations as the NSPIRE demonstration took shape.
House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Representatives Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) sent a letter to HUD Secretary Ben Carson on November 18 urging HUD to better incorporate tenant perspectives in the NSPIRE demonstration (see Memo, 11/25). They claimed HUD was not following through on their promise to engage with a diverse group of stakeholders (see Memo, 2/25). The letter noted that HUD has spoken only to HUD officials, public housing agencies, and property owners and agents, leaving tenants out of the discussion altogether.
NSPIRE is a reexamination of HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) physical inspection protocol intended to explore ways to better reflect the quality of public housing and privately owned HUD-assisted properties (see Memo, 8/26). 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 NSPIRE website is at: https://bit.ly/2sg8hYA
The posting about the new resident features is at: https://bit.ly/36tRNuL