The REAC Impossible Newsletter
Volume 2, Number 3, April/May 2021
Head-Scratcher of the Month
REAC inspections to increase June 1, 2021, is Ash, REAC's new Sheriff, ready?
REAC will be going from very few inspections during the pandemic to, quote, substantial increases, beginning June 1, 2021. HUD Secretary, Martha Fudge, feels the increase is needed to assure the health and well-being of residents. We are assured that inspectors will be mindful to not spread any diseases while conducting inspections, including I am hoping, the seasonal flu, always a grave threat to the elderly and infirm. REAC will no longer be chained to its World Heat Map guidelines, but only local conditions, a sensible idea for sure!
Dominique Blom, Public and Indian Housing's General Deputy Assistant Secretary (GDAS) and her new underling, Ashley (Ash) Sheriff, REAC's chargé d'affaires, sent notices out on April 28th amending prior inspection guidance, and posted a FAQ on the REAC website (click here) by way of informing properties of the change in plans. The new Sheriff in town, appointed to lead the charge is Ash Sheriff.
Ash is replacing David Vargas.  Oddly though, neither she has nor did Vargas have prior commercial inspection experience. Vargas is an accountant and Ash is a HUD property financing guru, and if it helps, is masters degreed. Must have been frustrating when a REAC inspector used terms like oil-fired steam boiler, roof substrates and downspouts when discussing inspection defects in meetings at REAC, rather than accounting terms, David’s "native" tongue.  The same tower of babel will be replaced with Ash. Sorta like the frustration of a building inspector might experience in managing a finance company and hearing terms like accelerated depreciation, amortization, LIHTC, and Section 241(a) mortgage loans, instead of tab shingles, and pressure relief valves.
It is peculiar that HUD cannot find one person in the entire country with commercial building inspection credentials to take over leadership of an agency tasked with conducting commercial property inspections. Residents died from Carbon Monoxide poisoning under Vargas' watch cuz he was clueless about how to keep his charges safe, and will likely die under Ash's leadership, as well, for the same reasons.
Ash's previous experience was as the DAS for Public Housing and Voucher Programs. According to a source she will play a critical role in the further development of NSPIRE, and more. Vargas had been unsuccessful in making any real progress with NSPIRE, and it's unclear how Ash will make any progress without any experience in federally mandated property inspection programs.
So I guess inspections will continue to be mismanaged resulting in continued unsafe living conditions in an inspection program that forces properties to waste money on unimportant nitpicking "defects", like insuring nonmandated garbage disposals and dish washers function, while residents’ lives are at risk because of a leadership that is highly educated, but clueless because it can't speak the same language as the people it leads. It not the best management practice to put people in charge of those who do not speak the same language. A case in point was the Montreal Canadiens hiring a coach who did not speak French, see article here.  

REAC is not ready to increase inspections. It will never be ready until it hires competent leadership.
Hank Vanderbeek, MPA, CMI
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REAC Impossible Webinars

REAC COVID Inspection Notices, Procedures, and FAQs (60 min) $149

REAC has issued the Notice and FAQ to not only assure that REAC Inspectors and properties do not spread COVID-19 but also contains policies property owners must adhere to during a REAC Inspection. 

REAC Impossible 2020 At risk UPCS defects (60 min) $149

This guidance affects how some defects are currently interpreted and applied, yet are not shared with property owners. Also, discussed is what properties will be targeted for an inspection during COVID, and how to avoid being inspected and stopping an inspection.

REAC Inspection Boot Camp (3 hrs) $249

The webinar theme is the state of the planned NSPIRE Inspection Standards, is it good for you! And REAC UPCS rule changes and interpretations effective in 2020, especially NIS. REAC is constantly changing Non-Industry Standards (NIS), do not be caught unaware! The NIS rules have blown up Inspection Standards. The 3-hour webinar looks at the current NIS Rules interpretations.
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