SAHF Comments on Recent Changes to REAC Physical Inspections
HUD's Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) conducts physical inspections of properties in the HUD portfolio in order to assess conditions of the properties and to provide information to help ensure safe, decent and affordable homes for their residents. In response to negative media attention and interest of legislators, HUD is currently working to reform the REAC inspection process so that scores better reflect the living conditions in the homes. In March, HUD issued a notice reducing notice of physical inspection to 14 days and created a fixed inspection date. The Office of Multifamily Housing has also issued a memorandum with a narrowed definition of when inspections may be postponed. At the same time, HUD is working on a pilot or a new inspection protocol that would be greater emphasis on safety and function and focus more of the scoring on units.
SAHF applauds HUD’s efforts to develop an inspection model that aligns with housing quality and appropriately identifies conditions that impact the health and safety of residents of HUD assisted properties. Although SAHFand its members share HUD’s sense that the inspection model could be improved to better reflect the true operating condition of properties, we believe that improvements will better achieved by aligning inspection criteria with HUD’s expectations for housing quality and using existing enforcement tools to address bad actors than by broadly implement rigid inspection timelines on the full portfolio.