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What is UPCS-V?

The Uniform Physical Condition Standards for Vouchers (UPCS-V) is a Demonstration Program mandated by Congress in FY2016, implementing an improved inspection standard for HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) units. UPCS-V aims to enhance the accuracy, consistency, and objectivity of the inspection process, and provide more information about the condition of individual housing units. Through this initiative, HUD aims to clarify and streamline inspection processes for PHAs and inspectors, while increasing owners and tenants’ access to detailed information about their homes.

Is UPCS-V still a pass/fail inspection?

Yes, UPCS-V is still a pass/fail inspection.

What is a defect?

A defect is a condition identified during a UPCS-V inspection that meets one of the criteria defined in the UPCS-V protocol. UPCS-V defects include conditions that do not function as designed or presents a concern to the health and safety of the voucher resident, or impact the habitability of an HCV unit. All defects are defined in the UPCS-V protocol and are classified as deficiencies and observations.

a. What is a Deficiency?

A Deficiency is a defect that results in a “fail.” A Deficiency must be corrected in order for a unit to pass.

b. What is an Observation?

An observation is an item that is noted in the inspection but does not fail the unit. An observation is also known as a “pass with comment”. Observations become part of the inspection report of the unit that is being inspected.

Are photos required for all defects?

No. Photos will be required for all deficiencies. Observations recorded under UPCS-V will not require photos.

How long will it take to fully implement UPCS-V?

Before UPCS-V can become fully implemented, sufficient data must be gathered from the Demonstration. The Demonstration can last up to three years and will be continually assessed for the feasibility of full implementation.

At any time will HUD do an inspection of record for the PHA?

No, the PHA will always do the inspection of record for the associated voucher unit.

Do PHAs now need to provide tenants and landlords copies of UPCS-V inspection results? Do these copies need to be provided electronically?

Currently, HQS states that PHAs are required to give a copy of the units’ inspection report to the tenant and landlord. This requirement has been carried forward in the UPCS-V protocol as well. Whether the inspection report is provided electronically or in paper form is up to the PHA.

Are repairs during the inspection still going to be allowed?

Yes, landlords will be allowed to make repairs during inspections.

Do all windows in a unit have to be inspected?

Yes, all windows that are designed to be opened will be inspected for safety and operability.

Will Section Eight Management Assessment Program (SEMAP) change?

No, UPCS-V does not change the SEMAP regulation.

Will assisted units inspected using the UPCS-V protocol be excluded from SEMAP?


What changes are there in regard to special housing types?

There are no changes to the special housing type inspection requirements.

Will there be a special protocol for places like Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands?

Similar to current HQS, there will not be a special protocol for these regions. The need for a special protocol will be evaluated during the Demonstration.

Will landlords be expected to make improvements on units’ scoring below a certain threshold, even if the unit passes?

No. Currently UPCS-V does not use a scoring model and is based off of pass/fail. Ultimately, the deficiencies determine if a unit passes or fails.