Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will publish the final rule to establish its new approach to defining and assessing housing quality, the National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate (NSPIRE). The final rule describes the development of NSPIRE and the next steps from HUD before its October 1 implementation for multifamily and voucher programs, and July 1 implementation for public housing.
“HUD is transforming how the department manages the quality of affordable housing units with NSPIRE. We are raising the bar because everyone deserves to live in safe and decent living conditions. Stronger standards, better inspections, and greater insights about living conditions will result in healthier and safer homes for residents. That’s a win for everyone,” HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge said in a May 10 statement.
According to the final rule, further transition information will be provided by HUD in three upcoming core subordinate notices, called NSPIRE Standards, Scoring, and Administrative notices.
Standards notice: HUD will publish the final NSPIRE Standards notice before the effective date of this rule and it will consider feedback received on the proposed rule for the 62 NSPIRE standards. See LeadingAge’s NSPIRE standards comments here.
Scoring notice: The NSPIRE Scoring notice will outline the methodology for weighting the deficiencies found during inspections using the NSPIRE standards notice and scoring those deficiencies for each program. It will also discuss the gradations and severity levels of the new scoring system, including thresholds for potential enforcement action. See LeadingAge’s NSPIRE scoring comments here.
Administrative notice: The NSPIRE Administrative notice will replace all UPCS guidance that HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center previously issued, and will outline the updated NSPIRE process for inspections, submitting evidence of deficiency correction, technical reviews, administrative referrals and other administrative requirements changing with the final NSPIRE rule. It will also include the process HUD will use to gather resident feedback on property conditions.
This final rule also states that HUD will allow, through Notice, for tenant involvement in the inspection process of public and multifamily housing programs by making recommendations regarding particular units to be inspected. Any units inspected in addition to the standard unit sample will not be part of the property’s score, but the owner or PHA will be required to repair any identified deficiencies. HUD made this addition after consideration of public comments regarding tenant involvement and the aim to balance the need for tenant input with the procedural integrity of the inspection process.
Look for additional information from LeadingAge on this final rule.