HUD Survey Seeks Resident Feedback on NSPIRE Inspections
HUD recently announced a new survey to obtain feedback from residents whose units were inspected under the new NSPIRE inspection process. Notice PIH 2023-24/H-2023-10, “Implementation of a Voluntary and Anonymous HUD Inspection Feedback Survey for Incorporation into the National Standards for the Physical inspection of Real Estate Program,” explains how HUD intends to use the new survey to identify “pain points” in the inspection process and to guide HUD’s efforts to improve residents’ general satisfaction with their housing conditions.
The survey is intended to gain resident perspectives on their experiences with physical inspections conducted by HUD/REAC federal inspectors or by inspectors contracted directly by HUD on sites subject to a REAC physical inspection. Therefore, the survey will be distributed to only those residents whose units are subject to REAC NSPIRE inspections.
The notice says that HUD staff hosted workshops with resident council members to gather input about the survey questions, questionnaire format, and the survey instrument. The survey is designed to take approximately five minutes, with residents replying to only four questions and indicating “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree” along a five-point scale when appropriate:
- I was present during the HUD inspection process of my unit: yes or no.
- I trust HUD to provide housing that is safe and habitable.
- How would you rate your satisfaction with your housing conditions?
- How would you rate your satisfaction with HUD’s inspection process?
The survey ends with an open-ended question enabling residents to indicate whether they would like to share anything else with HUD. If residents respond to the open-ended question indicating persistent conditions that impact the health and safety of residents, HUD might decide to inspect a property.
Under NSPIRE, only a random sample of units in a property will be inspected, along with five units recommended by a resident organization. Since the survey is designed for feedback on HUD’s physical inspection process, feedback from residents whose units are inspected will be obtained as close to the time of the inspection as is possible.
Inspectors will leave survey flyers in units after performing inspections. The flyers will be left on the kitchen counter of units they’ve inspected or in another noticeable location within the unit if they’re unable to leave the flyers on the kitchen counter. The flyers will contain a survey website link and QR code and will inform residents of the opportunity to participate voluntarily and anonymously. HUD will confirm with PHA management whether individuals with disabilities residing in any inspected units require alternative communication methods to ensure effective notification of and access to the survey.
The flyers will include common language translations indicating that language access to the survey is available. HUD will consult with PHA management to determine the presence of any limited English Proficiency (LEP) resident groups that may require materials in additional languages.
Survey Not Scored
HUD has used resident surveys in the past to assess residents’ satisfaction with their living conditions. Until 2011, HUD used the Resident Assessment Subsystem (RASS), which was the fourth indicator in HUD’s Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS) rule. Resident satisfaction was objectively measured and counted in HUD’s evaluation of PHAs. RASS was worth a total of 10 points out of 100 points available in PHAS.
In contrast, this survey is distinct from prior resident surveys used by HUD in that the results will not be scored or counted in HUD’s evaluation of PHAs or multifamily sites. Thus, data obtained through the survey won’t be factored into the NSPIRE scoring methodology to assess the overall condition, health, and safety of properties and units.