HUD on Target to Replace REAC Physical Inspection Standards

HUD recently announced that its National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate and Associated Protocols (NSPIRE) Demonstration program is on track to meet its goal for inspections by the end of May 2022. The program is seeking to complete over 900 advisory inspections by that time.

The context: Last September, due to delays caused by the pandemic, HUD announced the extension of the (NSPIRE) to April 30, 2023. The NSPIRE demonstration is a part of HUD's efforts to test the overhaul of 20-year-old inspection protocols. The program tests new approaches for making certain thousands of public housing authorities and private owners provide housing that’s safe and livable. The NSPIRE protocols will replace REAC's current physical inspection standards and protocol under the Uniform Physical Condition Standards (UPCS).

In 2019, HUD sought volunteer PHAs and owners of private HUD-assisted multifamily properties to participate over the course of two years. At the time, HUD planned to inspect 4,500 properties willing to adopt the NSPIRE model voluntarily. The NSPIRE demonstration assesses all aspects of REAC’s physical inspection process, including the evaluation of physical inspection data and a new scoring model. The goal is to design a new simplified inspection system that more accurately reflects the physical conditions within housing units and to place a greater emphasis on issues like lead-based paint hazards and mold.

What you need to know: The NSPIRE inspections to be completed by May 2022 are advisory only. For these test inspections, NSPIRE program inspectors are focusing on health and safety conditions that are Critical to Quality (CTQ), with emphasis on the condition of dwelling units and common areas used by residents. Sites that have volunteered to participate in the NSPIRE Demonstration will receive at least one inspection using the new NSPIRE standards and protocols.

Following the test inspections, HUD will finalize updates to the new physical inspection standards and protocol.