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THE BUILDING OF A NEW INSPECTION MODEL – National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate (NSPIRE)The NSPIRE Model Priority: Putting People First. Safety and Health is urgent; an emergency work order is issued. Function and operability is planned; routine work is performed when something is inoperable. Condition and appearance are programmed; regular maintenance.

HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) assists in improving housing quality by performing accurate, credible, and reliable assessments of HUD’s real estate portfolio. REAC’s primary mission is to provide our customers with independent, actionable assessments that advance risk-informed decisions about the condition of the nation’s affordable housing portfolio.

The new NSPIRE model prioritizes health, safety, and functional defects over appearance. It implements inspections that better reflect the true physical conditions of the property. The NSPIRE model supports the adoption of sound, year-round maintenance practices.

Using POA Self-Inspections, Property Owners report to HUD annually for all units to gain a reasonable level of confidence in results and to ensure work orders are being generated. REAC Conducted Inspections utilize contract inspectors, CTQs, and periodic inspections (3, 2, 1 years) to gain a high level of confidence in results. HUD Quality Insurance Inspections utilize HUD Federal Inspectors and CTQs+ and are triggered by poor conditions to gain the highest level of confidence in results. POA Self-Inspections and REAC Contracted Inspections provide reasonable assurance into a property's condition. HUD Quality Assurance Inspections provide evidentiary support to enforcement and/or sanctions. CTQs are Critical to Quality Indicators; inspection standards that have a high correlation to quality.

NSPIRE DemonstrationImage of the Secretary of HUD shaking hands with another man while people stand around smiling.

In late 2019, REAC began a two-year, voluntary demonstration to better identify potential adjustments to standards, protocols, and processes prior to nationwide implementation. This demonstration involves a diverse, representative group of stakeholders, including other HUD offices, Public Housing Authorities, and Property Owners and Agents. During the demonstration, volunteer properties around the United States participate in inspections using the new protocol and provide feedback.

 

This infographic represents NSPIRE's priorities. NSPIRE priorities where Residents are concerned: Year long maintenance with a unit-focus approach; prioritization of residents over properties; introducing resident surveys for better quality service; safe and habitable homes. NSPIRE priorities where Property Owners, Agents, and Public Housing Authorities are concerned: Increased inspection consistency; collaboration with HUD; ability to contribute input to new standard; access to inspection data; reliable data and presentable reports that help portfolio management and risk assessment; safe and habitable homes. NSPIRE priorities where Inspectors are concerned: electronic-based inspections; increased inspection accuracy; clear, defined inspection protocol; ability to capture pictures; collaboration with HUD; safe and habitable homes. NSPIRE priorities where HUD is concerned: access to reliable, valid, and objective data; alignment of multiple inspection standards; adaptation to industry change and modernization of health and safety standards; better performance assessments for HUD-assisted housing; safe and habitable homes.