On February 20, 2019, HUD announced in a press release a new Notice that reduces to 14 calendar days (from 120-days) the advance notification inspectors will give before conducting physical inspections of public housing and private HUD-assisted multifamily housing. The intent is to reduce the lead time owners and PHAs have to make cosmetic repairs in order to secure a passing score on a REAC inspection. The Notice – PIH-2019-02/H-2019-04 – applies to all properties subject to REAC inspections.
If an owner refuses to accept an inspection on the date contained within the notification, HUD will take the following steps:
1. If an owner/agent (O/A) declines to accept an inspection at the time initially scheduled by an inspector, the property will receive a REAC score of zero. A second attempt to schedule an inspection is possible.
2. If an O/A cancels or refuses entry for an inspection scheduled during the initial notification by an inspector, the property will receive a REAC score of zero. A second attempt to schedule an inspection is possible.
3. If a second attempt results in a completed inspection within seven calendar days of the initially scheduled date, the resulting score will be recorded.
4. If the second attempt does not result in a completed inspection within seven calendar days of the initially scheduled date due to the fault of the O/A, the property will receive a REAC score of zero, and the O/A may be subject to penalties established in statute, regulation, and other sub-regulatory documents.
Based on this Notice, starting in the third week in March 2019, HUD employees and REAC inspectors will only give affordable property owners 14 calendar days of notice prior to their inspection.
This significant policy change is a reminder that owners should perform regular maintenance on their properties and do repairs on a year-round basis.