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Required Items on a REAC Inspection

What You "Have to Have" on REAC and UPCS Inspections This fall US Housing presented short and long format sessions at conferences from coast to coast, and the question that we received most frequently was related to what items were actually required as part of a REAC/UPCS Inspection. To clarify this issue relates to instances when a property can be cited for a deficiency for not having a component installed. This commonly is asked about items such as Self-Closing devices on entry doors, Exit Signs, GFCI Oultet protection, and other common elements. These items are not required under UPCS, but they may be required under your local code, but this does not make it a deficiency under UPCS - unless the item is present and not functioning as designed. To put it another way - if you have a self closing device on a door - it needs to function properly, but it is not a deficiency to not have one on any door. The same thing can be said of Exit Signs, GFCI Outlet Protection, Appliances, and other devices. The following is a list of required items under UPCS: Handrails on Steps - Anywhere you find 4 or more consecutive steps, you need to have a handrail installed, it does not have to be on both sides. Bathtub and Bathroom Sink Stoppers - In Units - bathtubs and bathroom sinks must have a sink stopper, this does not apply to handicapped acce...
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Tenant Owned Hazards & Flammables

REAC Inspection Rules About Tenant Owned Hazards & Flammables Under the recent changes to REAC and the UPCS Inspection Code, a distinction was made regarding "hazards affecting only tenant owned items" such as broken mirrors, broken furniture exposing sharp edges, expired tenant owned fire extinguishers, play equipment inside/outside, fan covers, picture frames and other items that are tenant-owned and creating a hazardous condition. Under the new ruling, all items of this nature should be noted under "Hazards - Other", instead of "sharp edges", "Tripping", etc. which do not negatively impact your score. This does not matter so much for tax credit properties as "Hazards - Other" is still an L3 health and safety violation regardless if it scores zero points as a violation. The "exception" to this rule relates to "Flammable or Combustible Materials that are stored near a heat or electrical source". As noted, flammable or combustible materials may include, but are not limited to, gasoline, paint thinners, kerosene, propane, paper, boxes, plastics, etc. The etc., for example, can mean any objects stored in a furnace or boiler room, clothes or paper stored on radiant heat covers, plastics or cardboard in or on an oven and even plastic handles on pots and pans stored in the oven; basically, anything that the inspector thinks may p...
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REAC Rules: Damage Caused by Wheelchairs

Rules Regarding Damage Caused by Wheelchairs A refresher on an old rule about exceptions for routine wheelchair damage. There are a number of rules that are part of UPCS that have been in effect for so long that people sometimes forget they exist. This appears to be true with the rule that relates to damage caused by wheelchairs, walkers, and scooters on during REAC and UPCS Inspections. At the various speaking events that US Housing has been booked at during the fall of 2013, a section of the discussion that included the aforementioned rule, resulted in the highest number of surprised responses and questions. So, we thought it would be good to reiterate the rule for everyone, provide the reference, and a few clarifying examples. Routine, Damage to Any Area -This rule applies to damage that is likely to recur if repaired – this is most typically seen at corners in units or common areas where drywall is damaged by wheelchairs, or scrapes along doors at the level of the wheels or other mechanism. It is confined to walls and wall-trim and does not apply to doors or flooring. Rule Doesn't Permit Hazardous Conditions - This doesn't in any way provide an override for hazardous conditions; in other words, this rule applies to routine issues caused by wheelchairs that doesn't create a hazard such as sharp edges, exposed wires, or blocke...
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Skilled Nursing Facilities and REAC

Skilled Nursing REAC Rules Change Below is the official HUD email regarding this announcement: " This email pertains to REAC Physical Inspections and the Final Rule that was published recently. Please pass this email to anybody within your organization that deals with REAC inspections. We will be discussing this issue (as well as the other items in the Final Rule in the next email blast which will be sent near the end of the month). This provision (24 CFR 200.855) is already applicable, and it limits the inspections on skilled nursing facilities (SNF's). It provides in part that REAC will no longer routinely perform physical inspections on SNF's (though HUD can direct on a case-by-case basis that one be conducted). In applying this provision, HUD is halting the inspections on facilities categorized in HUD's database as SNF's - we are using the Section of the Act (SOA)/Group Type in our iREMS system. This can include skilled nursing facilities that do have some non-skilled nursing units but are predominantly providing skilled nursing care. In implementing this provision as expeditiously as possible, HUD is halting the scheduling of routine inspections of such facilities. Additionally, HUD has directed the cancellation of: (a) inspections already scheduled to occur between October 9th and November 8th on any such facilities, where...
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UPCS Parking Lot Deficiencies

  UPCS Inspection Code Changes -Parking Lots and Driveways On August 9, 2012, a new scoring notice was released by HUD REAC; these changes are technically effective as of September 17, 2012, for Public Housing. As of 2013, the new inspection code will be in effect for both Public Housing and Multifamily HUD. This article is the second in a series of several newsletters that will focus on the new changes: Parking Lots/Driveways/Roads: A parking lot, driveway, and/or road is defined as an area for parking motorized vehicles which begins at the curbside and includes all parking lots, driveways or roads within the property lines that are under the control of the housing provider. This does not limit the parking lot/ driveway / road to any material, location, size, or type, any surface that is using for parking or driving can be considered a parking area. Damages that result in violations relate to cracks, gaps, spalling, and trip hazards. Note: Do not include cracks on walkways/steps. For this to be a Level 2 deficiency, more than 10% of the area must be impacted, for example, 100 out of 1,000 square feet. The 10% level does not apply to Level 3 conditions. Relief joints are there by design; do not consider them cracks Repaired/sealed cracks should not be considered a deficiency. When observing traffic ability, consider the cap...
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UPCS Flooring Deficiencies

UPCS Inspection Code Changes: New Rules about Floors On August 9, 2012, a new scoring notice was released by HUD REAC; these changes are technically effective as of September 17, 2012, for Public Housing. As of 2013, the new inspection code will be in effect for both Public Housing and Multifamily HUD. This article is the fourth in a series of several newsletters that will focus on the new changes: Floors Hard Floor Covering Missing/Damaged Flooring Tiles: You see that hard flooring, terrazzo, hardwood, ceramic tile, sheet vinyl, vinyl tiles, or other similar flooring material, is missing section(s), is missing, or presents a tripping or cutting hazard, associated with but not limited to holes or delamination. Level 1: For any single floor surface, you see deficiencies in areas of the floor surface. You estimate that 5% to 10% of the floor is affected, and there are no safety problems. Level 2: You estimate that 10% to 50% of any single floor surface is affected, but there are no safety problems. of the property's parking lots/driveways/roads. Note a deficiency if you see cracks on more than 10% of the paved area. Level 3: You estimate that more than 50% of any single floor surface is affected by Level 1 deficiencies. - OR the condition causes a safety problem. ** Previously defined as "Floor Covering Damage and Missing Flooring...
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Fence and Gate Deficiencies

  UPCS Inspection Code Changes - Fences and Gates This category used to have three categories, each with several different degrees of violations -holes, leaning, missing sections, this has been refined to a more streamlined set of violations: A fence is defined as a structure that is functioning as a boundary or barrier, including any upright structure serving to enclose, divide or protect an area, and a gate is defined as a structured opening in a fence for entrance or exit. Fences can consist of any material, such as wood, metal, plastic, wire, iron, composite decking, etc, and can be of any size, shape, and design and will be inspected in the same manner; fencing does not have to be permanent to be inspected under this protocol, and ownership for fencing is determined from (a) determining that the posts are on the interior to the project side of the fence, (b) if the perimeter of the fence clearly extends around a neighboring project, or (c) the fence is clearly marked to delineate ownership (e.g. Property of City of X). This inspectable item can have the following deficiencies: Holes/Missing Sections/Damaged/Falling/Leaning - Non-Security/Non-Safety Holes/Missing Sections/Damaged/Falling/Leaning - Security/Safety ***Formerly had 3 deficiencies which have been consolidated and split into two categories: Non-Security and ...
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HUD HOME Program to use UPCS Protocol

HOME Program Adopts UPCS Inspection Standard The 2013 Rule confirms the adoption of Uniform Physical Condition Standards (UPCS). UPCS are uniform national standards established by HUD for housing that is decent, safe, sanitary and in good repair. These are newly adopted for the HOME program and will impact both existing HOME-assisted housing, and newly developed properties. There is, however, a delay in the effective date of implementation to January 24, 2015 (18 months after publication of the Final Rule). In the near future, HUD is expected to issue guidance on the specific inspectable elements of UPCS that will apply to HOME. Is UPCS The Same Thing as REAC? No. REAC Inspections use the Uniform Physical Conditions Standards (UPCS) to determine what is and isn't a deficiency. The scoring values on deficiencies that are assigned as part of REAC are unique to HUD REAC Inspections, and not the same thing as UPCS deficiencies. Just as with Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) properties, the determination of enforcement or lack thereof, is administered by the PJ or HFA. Property Standards Significant changes to property standards were included in the Final Rule that incorporated several NEW requirements for New Construction, Rehabilitation and existing HOME-assisted properties. A clear summary of these changes can be found in Sect...
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UFAS/ADA Issues Caused by Reasonable Accommodations

Reasonable Accommodations That Create ADA/UFAS Issues (Additional Parking Spaces) This summer we have noticed a trend while on-site doing either Capital Needs Assessments or UPCS (Pre-REAC) Inspections. Some well-intentioned managers and property administrators are adding "accessible design" features because a tenant requests a reserved parking space or a space that is closer to their unit or entrance. In order to accommodate the tenant's request, property managers are adding a "universal symbol" sign to another parking space (in addition to their 5% set aside) to accommodate the request but not actually converting the space to an "ADA Accessible Space". There are a few elements that are often found to be wrong in this situation – most commonly are the physical errors when creating an "accessible space" that make the space out of compliance with ADA/UFAS/Section 504 requirements. Spaces should be 96" wide with a 60" access aisle The sign in front of the parking stall must be mounted high enough to be seen while a vehicle is in the space (typically more than 60") Maximum Slope of 1:50 in all directions The parking space and access aisle must be completely free of any obstructions The issue that we are seeing is that to respond to the reasonable accommodation request, managers are adding the "sign" but not meeting any of the other...
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HOME Program Inspection Rules

HOME Adds New Requirements on Tenant Compliance The 2013 Final Rule for HUD's HOME program was released on July 24, 2013. Though many of the changes are applicable to the underwriting and development phases of a project, there are several changes outlined in the Final Rule that will have an impact on compliance for projects awarded HOME funds on or after the effective date of August 23, 2013 . Some highlights include: HOME Student Rule The HOME program adopts the Section 8 program restrictions on Student participation found at 24 CFR 5.612, which exclude any student that: Is enrolled in a higher education institute Is under age 24 Is not a veteran of the US Military Is not married Does not have dependent children Is not a person with disabilities Is not otherwise individually eligible, or has parents who, individually or jointly, are not eligible on the basis of income. Source Documentation for Income Determination The 2013 Rule includes a provision that will require at least 2 months of source documentation for income sources (pay stubs, interest statements, unemployment compensation, etc.). Lease-Up HOME units must be occupied within 6 months of project completion. If a unit remains unoccupied after 6 months, current marketing efforts (and if appropriate, an enhanced marketing plan) must be sent to HUD. If all HOME units are n...
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REAC Inspections and Hoarders

Is there a specific REAC deficiency for hoarding and other housekeeping issues? Of all of the questions that we have been getting this year at trainings and conferences, the most consistent and passionate question seems to have come around the concept of what to do with hoarders. More specifically, is there a deficiency in the Uniform Physical Condition Standards (UPCS) code for tenants who are collectors of large volumes of belongings, commonly known as "Hoarding"? The answer is: No. There is no specific deficiency for hoarding. That, however, does not mean that there are not relevant deficiencies that might occur in units that occur in units where there is hoarding. The following issues commonly are recorded in hoarding units: Health & Safety – Excessive Garbage and Debris – Indoors – This deficiency can be cited if a unit has items of trash or debris collected anywhere in a unit. This needs to meet the definition of "garbage and debris" for this deficiency; if for example, the tenant had an excessive collection of telephone books, this would not be "garbage" but "one man's treasure". Here are a few examples: A tenant has clothes thrown all over a unit – this is not a UPCS Issue unless you determine that the clothes are actually garage (not in a fashion sense) Disorderly accumulation of papers, empty boxes, and evidence th...
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SSN Requirements HUD vs LIHTC

SSN Requirements in HUD vs. LIHTC Lately, we have had a lot of questions from our Certification Approval clients about the requirements of Social Security Number disclosure on LIHTC vs. HUD programs. The most complex part of performing Move In File Audits on multiple funding programs is helping our clients to understand why the same family is eligible at one property and not at another. We worked with a customer recently whose property is a Project Based Section 8 HUD property with 100% LIHTC. The family, we'll call her "Ms. Jones", has applied to live at the property. Ms. Jones is not an eligible citizen of the US and does not contend eligible immigration status, and she has an infant with legal immigration status (a baby) who has not yet been issued a Social Security number (SSN). She also has two older children who do have SSNs and are legal immigrants. This family would not be eligible due to the HUD Section 8 requirements for SSN Disclosure, but if it was just an LIHTC property, there is no requirement for SSN disclosure. For this scenario, Ms. Jones herself is eligible because she is not contending eligible immigration status and there are other members of the household who are eligible citizens. The baby who doesn't have a SSN is the problem; the lack of SSN would make the entire family ineligible for the subsidy. HUD Not...
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REAC & Reasonable Accommodations

Reasonable Accommodations – Missing/Disabled Appliances on REAC Inspections Over the last few months, we have received a number of questions from clients and from attendees at our conferences and speaking engagements about "reasonable accommodations during UPCS Inspections"; most commonly the question has been related to stoves that have been removed or disabled due to a reasonable accommodation request. The question is: is there a specific rule that says "The inspector should not cite this as a deficiency if there is documentation regarding the reasonable accommodation?" The answer is "No" – there is no such rule, and any missing or disabled stove should be cited as a deficiency. There is a rule in the Compilation Bulletin 2.1 that provides for an exception in Elderly and Disabled dwelling units to recording doors as "Missing" if the remaining hardware is the only indicator that a door was removed. But this is the only exception and it doesn't mention reasonable accommodation in exact terms, only by inference. What Actions Should Be Taken to Reconcile REAC and Reasonable Accommodations? You can remove the item entirely and cover up the evidence that it was ever installed. For stoves, for example, you can add on some new countertop, cover over the 220 outlets, and remove the hood vent. You are not required to have a stove/range/...
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HOME Program Switch to UPCS

HOME Program Switch to UPCS Still Pending, but Agencies Already Preparing for the Change HOME Program Implementation of UPCS Standards Last year, a proposed rule was introduced that would change the inspection protocol for HOME program participants from HQS to UPCS. While this rule is still pending, we are receiving a lot of questions from agencies who are preparing to implement UPCS on their oversight of HOME participating projects. Most of the questions that we have received relate to the implementation of UPCS, more than the actual nuts and bolts of the inspection code. What determines Pass and Fail? Unlike HQS, the UPCS Inspection Code has no inherent definition of "Pass or Fail" associated with each violation. Instead, the inspection code simply rates deficiencies on the degree of damage and leaves the rating associated with the inspection violation to the enforcement agency. The regulations for HOME state that at the initial qualifying UPCS Inspection, the unit or project must repair any and all UPCS Violations. So, in essence, any violation at all on a new unit inspection would constitute a failure. We are working with other agencies to adopt rules that would create a scale on "Failing" annual inspections that would allow for minor issues to be recorded without failing the unit and requiring a re-inspection. Is there a di...
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Latest Blogs

24 August 2019
REAC Inspections
On August 21, 2019, HUD published a set of proposed rules in the Federal Register "Notice of Demonstration To Assess the National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate and Associated Protocols" 24 CFR Parts 5 and 200; [Docket No. FR–6...
21 August 2019
REAC Inspections
On August 20, 2019, HUD released the first of the new NSPIRE protocols which will be expected to become active once the pilot/demonstration program has concluded. This is a first look at what deficiencies will look like under NSPIRE, the inspection ...
16 July 2019
REAC Inspections
July 8, 2019 HUD's Office of Multifamily Housing Asset Management and Oversight released a memorandum reiterating the rules surrounding notice prior to entering resident's units, availability of documentation for residents to review, and clarificati...
09 July 2019
REAC Inspections
The House Financial Services Committee passed a bill - the Safe Housing for Families Act of 2019 (H.R. 1690), and it will likely move forward to a full vote in the near future. The bill provides $300 million over three years to fund the installation...
05 June 2019
REAC Inspections
Enter your text here ...HUD REAC Released a PowerPoint document (Click here) in an email to REAC Inspectors. This presentation is intended to provide clarify to sometimes subjective interpretations of what is considered to be "Non-Industry Standard"...

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