REAC Implementing Use of New “RAPID” Software
How Will This Affect Owners and Managers?
Over the last six months, a series of changes have been working their way through the UPCS and REAC Inspection Processes. A considerable percentage of the changes relate to the implementation of the new REAC “RAPID” software. There has been a lot of outreach by REAC and HUD to Owners and Managers to make them aware of the new software.
The following are the questions that are presented to us by our clients and industry representatives about RAPID and how it changes the REAC process for Owners and Managers.
Do I have to Use the RAPID Software Myself?
No, there is no requirement to use the RAPID software by owners and managers. Most who have used it find the product to be incongruent with “what managers do”. In short, it appears to be an improved platform for REAC Inspectors but is not well designed for management use. It is designed to make the REAC inspection process more accurate and not necessarily to allow owners and managers to conduct UPCS inspections easily.
The public version of the software can be cumbersome to install; often requiring an initial call to REAC to allow for access to the HUD’s systems. The RAPID software uploads and maintains all data collected during any inspections that are completed using it (including internal annual UPCS inspections) to HUD’s master database.
Moreover, RAPID is a software to implement the UPCS Inspection code precisely as stated by REAC. The design of the software is focused on the aims of REAC as an agency (i.e. scoring violations, rating properties, collecting survey information). As such, it does not include some of the areas that most concern owners and managers. This includes items such as damaged amenities (blinds, shades, etc) and housekeeping and lease enforcement concerns.
How Does This Change the Actual Inspection?
The most dramatic change is how inspection items are recorded and listed on the inspection report. In the prior REAC Software, each inspection item was only noted once per inspection, and additional occurrences of the same issue would be clarified in a note if the item was a Level 3.
With RAPID – Items will be noted separately on the report, but there will still be just one point deduction. For example, on the old software, the inspector could see several doors in a unit with damaged hardware, but the only door that would appear on the report would be the Entry Door (for example) as it was the most “severe”, now all of the doors will appear, though only the points for the most severe item will be deducted.
This will affect how appeals are viewed as well, as previously the additional items that the inspector viewed were essentially “unknown” on the report, and now the additional items in the same inspectable item category are shown on the report and would need to be appealed along with the main item in order for a point change to be granted. For example:
- Two Bedroom Unit. One of the bedroom doors has a hole over 1/4 inch in diameter in the door and the bathroom door has a hole greater than 1 inch. For the purpose of the scoring, the only point deduction will be the bathroom door. If you were to appeal the bathroom door successfully, the item would be removed, as the bedroom door violation would take its place. This would essentially change the citation from Level 3 to Level 2. This would reduce the penalty by 50%.
Why Did My Inspection Take So Long to Complete?
Inspections using this new RAPID software have been reported to take more time than previous inspections. Our clients and industry partners have observed:
- The new software requires much more detail, as each violation includes a detailed notes section. Unlike the previous software, the inspector can now provide insight into the issues and its location.
- The software is “new” and there is naturally a learning curve. As such any inspection in the next few months may take a little longer than those in the past.