Inspections previously paused during COVID-19 outbreak due to health concerns
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson announced today the Department will resume Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) inspections of HUD multifamily and public housing properties and units under strict safety protocols during the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
REAC inspections are the assessment tool that ensures HUD assisted properties meet federal standards of health, safety, and accessibility. REAC inspections were paused due to the Coronavirus outbreak in March of 2020.
“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,” said Secretary Carson. “Physical inspections are vital in ensuring the health and safety of the Americans who reside in properties enrolled in HUD’s programs, and I am very pleased to announce today they are resuming.”
”REAC inspections provides a critical service in HUD assisted properties to ensure residents are living in safe and decent housing. I believe we have found a solution to continue this important function while keeping staff, residents, and inspectors healthy,” said Hunter Kurtz, Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing.
To keep the residents and staff of HUD properties safe during the inspection process, REAC will 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. REAC has developed a heat map that categorizes states and localities into four risk categories:
- Low Risk – Green
- Moderately Low Risk – Yellow
- Moderately High Risk – Orange
- High Risk – Red
REAC will provide a listing on its website of low-risk counties 45 days prior to the start of physical inspections. At the end of the 45-day period, REAC will provide a 14-day notification to priority properties in that county to inform families that an inspection will take place. The first outreach from inspectors to properties will start no earlier than September 21, 2020. A comprehensive list of safe inspection locations, as well as an overview of the methodology used to determine them can be found on the website here. Inspectors will prioritize properties with historically low REAC scores (high-risk properties) in Low Risk (Green) localities. These locations will change over time, and HUD will adjust its inspection plans as needed. For additional information on HUD’s coronavirus response efforts, please visit HUD.gov/coronavirus.