NSPIRE News: March 3, 2022
What to Expect in an NSPIRE Demonstration Inspection

An inspector holds a tablet and discusses electrical features with a property representative.

As HUD ramps up inspections of properties volunteering to participate in the Demonstration for the National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate (NSPIRE), the NSPIRE Information Center has received questions regarding what to expect in a Demonstration inspection. If your property is participating, a HUD Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) inspector will follow a similar protocol as the Uniform Physical Condition Standards (UPCS), with some exceptions as follows.

All inspectors will observe HUD’s COVID-19 inspection guidance. Please review this document for changes to inspection protocols to ensure the safety of all participants in the inspection. Inspectors will observe this guidance for travel, wearing and cleaning personal protective equipment, and maintaining social distancing. The guidance also covers what properties can expect in the inspection and how they can prepare for inspections by cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.

REAC will advise Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) and Property Owners/Agents (POAs) at least 28 days prior to the inspection date. The REAC inspector will also call and provide written notification 14 days before the inspection. This additional temporary 28-day notification is being implemented to ensure the safety of the inspectors, residents, and property staff.

Before the inspection, property management should report to the REAC inspector if there are any known cases of COVID-19 among residents. If so, REAC will follow the protocol in the COVID-19 guidance document to follow up before the inspection. On the inspection day, if any residents whose units were selected in the sample are identified as having COVID-19, the REAC Inspector shall replace those units with alternate units as required by the inspection protocol.

The day of the inspection, the inspector will use the NSPIRE standards to perform a Critical to Quality (CTQ) inspection while following COVID-19 protocols. After the inspection, or at the end of each day of a multi-day inspection, the inspector will provide the property a list of Health & Safety deficiencies. This list will be accessible in the NSPIRE Demonstration Case Management System, to which REAC has provided volunteer properties access. The property must address the deficiencies cited and submit evidence of mitigation in the Case Management System using the timeframes prescribed under NSPIRE. Although Demonstration scores are only advisory for refining NSPIRE standards and protocols, any conditions that an inspector deems to be a failure to provide acceptable basic housing could subject a property to a UPCS inspection.

Currently, the NSPIRE Demonstration is in phase two of two. In this phase, inspectors are visiting participating properties at least once to conduct CTQ inspections. These inspections help HUD ensure the consistency, accuracy, and objectivity of the new NSPIRE CTQ standards. A list of the CTQ standards and deficiencies are available on the NSPIRE website for stakeholder feedback. Additionally, REAC will provide POAs with an opportunity to participate in focus groups to provide feedback on NSPIRE.

For questions, comments, or recommendations on the NSPIRE Demonstration period, including requests to reschedule, please email NSPIREDemo_Inspection@hud.gov call the NSPIRE Information Center at 800-883-1448.

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