ExAM4Inspections is committed to continuing to support HUD inspection requirements across standards. In fact we currently cover three major inspection standards as put forward by HUD, HQS, UPCS and UPCS-V. We’ve even debuted an inspection capability based on the NSPIRE standard as put forward by HUD. 

So really quick…just in case you haven’t seen it before… let’s check out how ExAM4Inspections can help you collect the information you need to support today’s HUD inspections. As well as taking a look at how we plan on supporting tomorrow’s inspection standards as well.

Note: Most of this content is sourced directly from the HUD website to ensure accuracy. Check out HUD.gov for the latest on these inspection protocols.  

ExAM for every HUD Inspection

HQS

A great place to start is ExAM’s support for HQS. The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) mandates the basic housing quality standards (HQS) which all units must meet before assistance can be paid on behalf of a family. HQS define “standard housing” and establish the minimum criteria for the health and safety of program participants. 

Current HQS regulations consist of 13 key aspects of housing quality, performance requirements, and acceptability criteria to meet each performance requirement. HQS includes requirements for all housing types, including single and multi-family dwelling units, as well as specific requirements for special housing types such as manufactured homes, congregate housing, single room occupancy, shared housing, and group residences.

UPCS

As we move from HQS its only natural for us to move towards the Uniform Physical Condition Standards or (UPCS). UPCS is the name used to refer to a set of standards used by inspectors to assess the physical condition of public housing units and housing units which are insured by or assisted under various programs of HUD. UPCS organizes properties for evaluation based on five inspectable areas: Site, Building Exterior, Building Systems, Common Areas, and Unit.  Each of these five inspectable areas are further broken down to specific Inspectable Items and Observable Deficiencies.

Of course UPCS is also the standard on which two key HUD follow on inspection standards are based. Including both UPCS-V and NSPIRE. We’ll start with UPCS-V.

UPCS-V

UPCS-V stands for the Uniform Physical Condition Standards for Vouchers (UPCS-V) it 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.

UPSC-V is the new updated inspection standard for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. UPCS-V combines the consistency and objectivity of UPCS inspections, with the focus on the condition of individual housing units of HQS inspections. UPCS-V is based on UPCS protocol and definitions (with the “V” signifying “Voucher”) with additions of unique items from the HQS inspection.

Like UPCS, UPSC-V provides an objectively measured condition of the housing unit on standardized criteria, by looking at the Site, Building Exterior, Building System, Common Area, and Unit inspectable areas. Like HQS, UPSC-V results in a pass/fail decision.

NSPIRE

Finally, lets talk about the latest in HUD’s attempts to modernize its inspections standards. NSPIRE. Starting in 2017, HUD launched a “wholesale reexamination” of REAC’s inspection process and is now in the process of modernizing its physical housing inspection model.

NSPIRE’s focus is on the areas that impact residents.  This model includes more objective standards, value-added inspection protocols, and scoring elements that are more defensible and less complex. Inspectors will spend more time in units and the overall results will better identify substandard properties. For those of you wondering. The inspection protocol you are seeing here wasn’t developed by HUD and it isn’t anything official. It’s just us applying our experience in working with HUD standards to show how we think the protocol might look in ExAM4Inspections. 

As always we are committed to staying abreast of the latest and greatest that HUD is developing to support tenant safety and insight into the quality of the housing supporting some of our most vulnerable citizens. Our development of an inspection protocol in ExAM based on the NSPIRE standard is just one of the many ways we are continuing to ensure we provide our public housing customers with the best possible set of tools to support the evaluation of their units and to ensure compliance with HUD. Want to learn more? Schedule a call, sign up for a newsletter or attend one of our webinars.