HUD Announces June Return To Physical Inspections
Regulation | April 26, 2021 | by Juliana Bilowich
HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge announced a new approach to physical inspections during COVID-19, including more advance notice and adjusted prioritization, starting on June 1.
On Arpil 23, HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge annouced that HUD will substantially increase housing inspections for Multifamily Housing communities and Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) during the public health emergency, including properties participating in the NSPIRE demonstration program, beginning June 1, 2021. The restarted inspections will temporarily provide properties with 28 days advance notice instead of the regular 14 day notice.
Physical inspections were originally suspended in March 2020, then restarted using a risk-ranked approach that excluded communities serving older adults. Secretary Fudge's letter cited the increased availability of masks and vaccinations, as well as concern for the overall health and well-being of HUD-assisted households, as reasons for HUD's new approach, which effectively restarts physical inspections across the portfolio.
To conduct inspections as safely as possible, HUD has developed inspection protocols in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to minimize the risk of COVID transmission for all parties to an inspection including residents, inspectors, and PHA and MFH property representatives.
New Physical Inspection Protocols During COVID-19
HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) will notify housing providers of its detailed plans for increasing inspections of both Public Housing and Multifamily properties. According to HUD's press release, the agency will implement the following protocols and associated safety measures:
- The inspection of high priority/risk properties for both the Public Housing and Multifamily portfolios before other properties;
- Evaluation of known property-specific health conditions prior to the inspection;
- Regular COVID-19 testing of inspectors and efforts to facilitate the vaccination of inspectors;
- Travel and quarantine guidelines for inspectors;
- Detailed operational protocols for inspectors pre-inspection, during the inspection, and post-inspection reviewed by the CDC;
- Ability for residents to opt-out of unit inspections when inspectors arrive on-site.
HUD also encourges housing providers to make PPE available to residents prior to an inspections utilizing CARES Act funds.