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Protocols for Limiting the Spread of the Novel Coronavirus during On-Site Services

The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting new and constantly evolving challenges. During these challenging times, it is vital to ensure that properties are maintained at safe and livable standards. During this time, we are committed to providing effective inspections and compliance services in a way that is conscious of the health and safety concerns of property staff and residents and are actively developing detailed safety procedures.

With that in mind, we have outlined a policy for our employees and clients which follows the guidelines of the CDC and/or local authorities.

Safety Requirements for Property Inspections

As part of our current protocols for ensuring safety and limiting the spread of the virus, we have internally implemented the following requirements of all persons participating in either file audits, compliance consulting engagements, or inspections of any kind.

  • No Groups of more than 3 persons, including the inspector, shall be present on the inspection.
  • Our inspections will include a thorough inspection of all site/grounds, common areas, exteriors, and systems, but entry into dwelling units will be done on a case by case basis.
  • All persons must perform social distancing of 6 feet or more, whenever possible.
  • All persons must wear protective coverings, including, but not limited to, gloves and masks unless they are working autonomously in a segregated area.
  • Sanitizers will be used regularly on hands and equipment.
  • All persons will be asked to periodically wash their hands and change face covering if necessary.
  • Analysts and Inspectors will avoid any areas of a property where there is a gathering of people, and return to the area later, if possible. Additionally, any area where there is a known or perceived increased health risks, such as a person or persons exhibiting symptoms, will be avoided.
  • All employees must monitor their health carefully, including checking temperature and other symptoms, and no employees shall report to work if they exhibit any flu-like symptoms.
  • Provide a segregated workspace for Compliance Analysts and, when feasible, make sure all records/documents that need to be reviewed or processed are located in the designated workspace.
  • If the compliance consulting service involves meeting with residents, the Compliance Analyst will have designated areas that will allow for social distancing. Only one household will be allowed in the designated area at a time. Residents will also be required to wear masks during the meeting.

US Housing Consultants’ inspectors will observe the following practices in the dwelling units for inspections:

  • Inspectors will wear masks at all times indoors and outdoors when social distancing of 6’ or more is not possible.
  • Inspectors will wear gloves at all times and gloves will be sanitized and/or changed after each apartment inspection.
  • Inspectors will also adhere to use of any other PPE that the owner/agent requires, however, the owner/agent will have to provide the PPE

When a unit is entered for the inspection, the property representative will be asked to:

  • Open all doors and windows for the inspector.
  • Turn on and off all appliances when the inspector inspects the kitchen.
  • Request that the residents wear a mask.
  • Request that the resident wait in an area of the unit which allows the inspector and property representative to maintain as much physical distance as possible, or vacate the unit temporarily.
  • Ask the tenant if they have experienced any flu-like symptoms anytime in the last fourteen days. Residents who refuse access or state that they have had any flu-like symptoms will not have their unit inspected.

Inspections on Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing, and Long Term Care Facilities

Currently, US Housing Consultants will not inspect Assisted Living Facilities, Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs), Long Term Care (LTC) facilities, or any properties set aside for populations at higher risk for severe illness (per the CDC guidelines). Additionally, we will not inspect any property that could be at an increased risk for transmission or spread of the virus.

Live Training Events

At our live training events, we are doing everything we can do to ensure that the training room and associated areas are safe, clean, and sanitary at all times. We have taken the following steps to ensure that our live training events provide a safe environment for all who attend.

  • All live training events will feature meals and drinks which are individually wrapped and either boxed or in a bag.
  • All tables and chairs will be sanitized and cleaned before and during breaks throughout the training.
  • Seating arrangements will be done to allow for social distancing and stagger people throughout the room to allow for a wide area of personal space.
  • Attendees will be encouraged to wear masks throughout and asked to wear masks for any moments of personal interaction with other attendees.

Updates to COVID-19 Safety Policy

Above all, the safety of the residents and staff is our absolute priority. Clients will be encouraged to express any concerns about the safety protocols during the inspection. These protocols and procedures are designed to change based upon the evolving conditions throughout the country, and additional guidance is released by local authorities. We will post our current inspection policy during the COVID-19 pandemic on our website and direct clients to review the policy prior to each inspection.

These are challenging times for many, particularly residents of affordable housing, and we are pleased to continue to serve in this way. We believe that, if we all do our part, we can safely limit the spread of the coronavirus and continue providing these necessary and essential services.

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