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HUD's NSPIRE logo with national standards for the physical inspection of real estate

HUD Makes Property Oversight Consistent

HUD created a single system for inspecting homes and multifamily buildings under its umbrella. It calls the stronger standards NSPIRE.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that its Final Inspection Standards Notice for the National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate (NSPIRE) will soon appear in the Federal Register.

The notice details inspectable items at its HUD-assisted and multifamily-insured properties. It includes a classification of conditions – which are considered life-threatening, severe, moderate, or low-risk by item and inspectable area. The Notice also commits HUD to review standards at least every three years.

“The NSPIRE standards do two things really well,” Office of Public and Indian Housing Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Richard J. Monocchio. “They bring consistency across programs, which is important for housers, and they bring much needed focus” to the locations where residents spend their time and the conditions that “most directly affect their wellbeing.”

NSPIRE aligns and consolidates inspection regulations across HUD’s housing programs. HUD says it strengthens physical condition standards – formerly Uniform Physical Condition Standard (UPCS) and Housing Quality Standards (HQS).

The NSPIRE Standards were opened for public comment on June 17, 2022. The final standards were published with changes based on those comments.

Changes under NSPIRE

  • Address life-threatening and severe deficiencies within 24 hours. All other deficiencies must be addressed within 60 days or a reasonable period.
  • Make the Smoke Alarm Standard consistent with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 72.
  • Create a Fire Door Standard detailing the specific function, operability and structural integrity requirements for fire doors.
  • Require carbon monoxide alarms to be installed in compliance with the 2018 International Fire Code.
  • Set minimum temperature requirements during the colder months and require a permanent heating source.
  • Include criteria for when guardrails and handrails are required.
  • Establish infestation deficiencies based on discrete levels of observations with clarification on citable pests.
  • Develop deficiencies based on observed mold conditions or elevated moisture levels measured using a moisture meter.
  • Include a deficiency for an enhanced visual assessment for deteriorated paint in units where children under 6 years of age reside to document potential lead-based paint hazards.
  • Specify Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protection as a requirement.
  • Include affirmative habitability requirements for bathrooms, kitchens, and other rooms utilized by residents.

For more information, visit the NSPIRE homepage and view the video of the NSPIRE Standards or other videos on the NPSIRE playlist. Questions about NSPIRE can be sent to

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