Update on HUD REAC Safety First Return to Operations Plan
NAHMA hosted a call last week on July 17, 2020, with HUD REAC’s Deputy Assistant Secretary, David Vargas, to discuss REAC’s Return to Operations and Safety First plan. Previously the plan was to include an announcement on or around July 15th. However, due to the recent resurgence of COVID-19, HUD REAC is not able to announce a date to resume operations at this time.
During this call, HUD REAC described their policy for REAC inspections being “safety first”. Throughout the call, Mr. Vargas’ described a policy that would put the safety of residents, owners, and REAC Inspectors first. While the need to ensure good living conditions in HUD financed/subsidized units is paramount, HUD REAC expressed the following:
- The highest priority guiding the resumption of inspections is the health, safety, and welfare of all those involved in the conduct of HUD’s inspection activities.
- Resuming HUD physical inspections will require deference and flexibility for those involved, and HUD inspectors must exercise an abundance of caution.
- REAC will provide significant guidance to its Federal and contract inspectors for the safe conduct of inspections, including specifying the required PPE necessary for our contract inspector partners and providing PPE for Federal inspectors.
HUD REAC’s Safety First Return to Operations Plan
A PowerPoint presentation was provided for the participants of the call. The highlights of the discussion include:
- At this time, there is no defined date to resume REAC Inspections
- HUD REAC will notify Owners/Agents at least 45 days prior to the resumption of REAC inspections and the possibility of properties receiving final 14-day notices prior to each inspection scheduled.
- Elderly and disabled designated housing (202 and 811 PRAC, 202/8) are not subject to REAC Inspections during the initial phases of REAC’s return to operations plan.
- The Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) has waived the requirement for properties to conduct internal annual inspections in 2020
HUD REAC Leadership repeatedly stressed that the resumption of operations plan will be transparent and Owners/Agents will not be subject to “surprise” inspections.