HUD has transitioned away from UPCS Real Estate assesment Center (REAC) inspections and is now applying the new National Standard for the physical Inspection of Real Estate standard (NSPIRE) for building inspections.
NSPIRE INSPECTABLE AREAS
To ensure residents live in a safe and habitable environment, NSPIRE establishes the three inspectable areas instead of five from the old UPCS of a REAC inspection. These are: Unit, Inside, and Outside. The reduction of inspectable areas does not mean the inspections are easier. While the focus is mainly on the interior and units. The NSPIRE standard adapts a more indepth inspection of building interior and units. While this was done to increase the usability of the standards and streamlines the inspection process, the more problematic the units are, the harder it will be to get a passing score.
According to HUD, "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." The National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate is designed to promote HUD’s goal of reducing health and safety hazards in the home. To achieve this goal, NSPIRE prioritizes the condition of dwelling units where people live. And has also reduce the inspectable areas from five to three. Now the focus is on Outside, Inside and Units with the units carrying the heavier scoring weight. The weights are divided into four catergories, Life Threathing (LT), Severe (S), Moderate (M) and Low (L). Life threatening deficiency inside the units (60) will carry the largest deduction, while low deficiency outside (2.0) will carry the least deduction of deficiency. To determine the point deduction of a given deficiency, HUD will determine the location and severity of the deficiency.
- Addressing life-threatening and severe deficiencies within 24 hours. All other deficiencies must be addressed within 60 days or a reasonable period.
- Making the Smoke Alarm Standard consistent with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 72.-Smoke alarms are required in each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on each story including basement.
- Creating a Fire Door Standard detailing the specific function, operability and structural integrity requirements for fire doors.
- Requiring carbon monoxide alarms to be installed in compliance with the 2018 International Fire Code. CO alarms are required outside each separate dwelling units with attached garages and outside each sleeping are with dwelling units with fuel-fired appliances. Bedrooms or attached bathrooms with fuel burning require CO alarms in bedrooms
- Setting minimum temperature requirements during the colder months and requiring a permanent heating source.
- Including criteria for when guardrails and handrails are required. For instance, Guardrails are required along open sided walking surfaces, including stairs, ramp and landings that are more than 30" vertical to floor or grade.
- Establishing infestation deficiencies based on discrete levels of observations with clarification on citable pests.
- Developing deficiencies based on observed mold conditions or elevated moisture levels measured using a moisture meter.