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HUD Restarts Physical Inspections – But Not in Fla.?

Multifamily and public housing will again have physical inspections, but HUD says that’s based on virus-outbreak levels – and Fla. is still considered high risk.

WASHINGTON – Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson says HUD will resume Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) inspections of HUD multifamily and public housing properties and units, though with a caveat: It will be under “strict safety protocols during the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

REAC inspections assess whether HUD-assisted properties meet federal standards of health, safety and accessibility, but were paused in March due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

While HUD did not announce a specific inspection schedule, it said it would prioritize inspections in states and localities based on the latest COVID-19 data from Johns Hopkins University and health risk scoring methodology from the Harvard Global Health Institute.

HUD did not give further detail on how the pandemic impact will affect its housing inspections, but it created a heat map showing four levels of pandemic danger, with the highest category, red, generally including states along the Gulf of Mexico over to Nevada. The webpage will also include additional information about the inspections as HUD releases it.

  • Low Risk – Green
  • Moderately Low Risk – Yellow
  • Moderately High Risk – Orange
  • High Risk – Red (includes Florida)

“As we continue to fight this invisible enemy and learn more about the safety precautions needed to keep our HUD residents and staff safe, we are able to bring back critical functions of the department,” says Carson. “Physical inspections are vital in ensuring the health and safety of the Americans who reside in properties enrolled in HUD’s programs.”

HUD says REAC will provide a list of low-risk counties 45 days prior to the start of physical inspections. At the end of those 45 days, REAC will provide a 14-day notification to priority properties in that county informing families that an inspection will take place.

The first outreach to properties will start no earlier than Sept. 21, 2020. HUD says inspectors will prioritize properties with historically low REAC scores (high-risk properties) in Low Risk (Green) areas. The locations will change over time, and HUD says it will adjust its inspection plans as needed.

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