On October 24, 2018 HUD's Office of Public Relations released a statement which discusses the future of physical inspections performed through the HUD Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC). In this statement, HUD expresses the interest in an update to the REAC Inspection System, specifically in the scoring model. The memo states that "it has become clear that REAC's 20 year old scoring system needs to be changed to better reflect the conditions of the properties where more than two million families call home."
The memo indicates a desire to design a better inspection system that finds a way to evaluate properties in a manner that aims to evaluate how properties are complying with an overall obligation to provide decent, safe, sanitary housing instead of just passing minimal requirements of the REAC Inspection process.
HUD promises both a long-term review as well as immediate changes that better focus on conditions inside the housing units, with a greater emphasis placed on lead-based paint hazards and mold infestation.
It is unclear at this time what the reforms to HUD's REAC Inspection system will look like; the statement from HUD promises a new simplified inspection system and an integration with the HUD Initiative "Protect our Kids!", which applies a specific focus on environmental issues such as lead-based paint and mold.
As HUD works to find ways to improve REAC and change the system; we will continue to provide updates to the industry as soon as they are available. It in unclear at this time if the changes will refine the inspection scope or expand it; but we at US Housing Consultants hope that the changes will include improvements to transparency, quality of the inspections, quality of the training of REAC Inspectors, and an improvement to the requirements for inspectors to provide quality customer service on the properties where dedicated housing professionals work and in the homes of the families who receive HUD assistance.
For now, please continue to follow the existing regulations and requirements and look for updates to the system, which may take a significant time to materialize, as the updates will require change to the HUD REAC software, public comment, testing, and possibly congressional approval.
If you should have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us, and of course, watch for updates from US Housing Consultants.