HUD Cuts Advance Notice of REAC Inspections

HUD recently announced it is dramatically reducing the advance notice it provides to public housing authorities (PHAs) and private owners of HUD-subsidized apartment developments before their housing is inspected to ensure it is decent, safe, and healthy. HUD's new standard provides PHAs and private owners of HUD-assisted housing 14 calendar days' notice before an inspection.

Currently, HUD's Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) provides advance notice of often up to 120 days before a scheduled inspection . According to HUD, this amount of lead time allows certain PHAs and property owners to undertake cosmetic, “just-in-time” repairs to their properties rather than adopting year-round maintenance practices.

REAC is responsible for inspecting properties owned and operated by approximately 3,700 local PHAs nationwide. In addition, REAC-contracted inspectors evaluate approximately 23,000 privately owned apartment buildings. Combined, approximately 96 percent of these properties pass their inspections.

Still, it has been HUD's observation that many PHAs and private owners of HUD-subsidized housing have grown accustomed to REAC's 20-year-old inspection regime and, in some cases, invest more resources in passing minimal inspection requirements rather than satisfying their obligation to provide quality housing.

Beginning 30 days after publication of notice, HUD employees and contract inspectors acting on behalf of HUD will provide property owners and their agents with only 14 calendar days of notice prior to their inspection. If an owner/agent declines, cancels, or refuses entry for an inspection, a presumptive score of "0" will be recorded. If the second attempt results in a successful inspection within seven calendar days, the resulting score will be recorded.