The REAC Impossible Newsletter
Volume 1, Number 3, March 2020
Head-Scratcher of the Month

NSPIRE just another housing barrier

NSPIRE is sure to inspire you to do better to keep your charges safe and happy. NSPIRE is REAC's response to concerns that REAC was not keeping people safe. NSPIRE won't work any better to keep resident's safe than the current inspection protocol. But it will allow REAC to place more of the blame on owners/agents: Resulting in less investment in housing if subject to the onerous inspection program - a barrier to living in subsidized housing!
In response to newspaper accounts of subsidized housing residents dying of Carbon Monoxide poisoning, several agencies told REAC to get its act together and fix its inspection program. REAC, you see, wasn't checking for CO detectors. REAC's response was we weren't required to check for them; it's not in the law, it told everybody.
It's odd for a Federal level inspection program that has as its mission to keep residents safe above all else to not check for something that is job one on every inspector check list from your local home inspector, to fire inspectors, and every inspection organization. It’s inspection 101! REAC will write you up for a hole in a window screen, mismatched floor tiles, or a tree limb touching a picnic bench. Just one of dozens of examples of REAC stretching the Law to inspect whatever it wanted, no matter how pedantic or overreaching. REAC does what it wants but then hides behind the law when asked why it can't do the job entrusted by the taxpayers - keeping residents safe.
REAC was able to convince the current HUD Secretary that the fault really lay with the Property Owner/Agent (POA). REAC led the Secretary to believe that if the POAs kept their properties in “good condition” year round instead for when facing a REAC inspection, and if REAC “improved” the inspection program there would be no more CO poisonings or other deaths and that deplorable conditions that were not being identified by the inspection program would all be something of the distant past.
To force POAs to keep their properties in good condition year round, the 14 day advance notice was born. No more 2 to 4 month advance notice. Now POAs have 14 days to get REAC ready, 21 days if you need an extra 7 days. So far I know of no properties that are suddenly staying abreast of repairs. They are trying to keep and hire maintenance staff in a time of severe construction worker shortages, avoid ridiculous contractor repair and consulting fees, all with the new “panacea” NSPIRE inspection protocol around the corner.
Not only will NSPIRE change how defects are evaluated and measured, but POAs will be required to do annual self-inspections and sent the results and completed work orders to REAC. Kinda like an IRS tax return! You send IRS your income and expenses with all requisite proof like 1099s, W2, receipts, etc. and hope you are not audited. REAC will be acting like the IRS in that it will have your annual inspection report to determine if you are truthful in your reporting. Where before you could fail and loose funding, contracts, residents, etc., now you can also be accused of failing false reports. I know of a POA that told REAC it had fixed its Exigent Health and Safety defects. REAC determined that it had not and fined the POA $65,000.
Like the IRS, ignorance of the law is no excuse, REAC's ever changing defects, rule changes and interpretations will make it all but impossible to know you are recording all of the "defects" spelled out in NSPIRE . Heck some REAC inspection supervisors (QAs) allow some paint on a sprinkler head while others won't allow any. This is but one of the 500 REAC "objective" defects with multiple interpretations.

REAC is not improving how they inspect; they are implementing a system whereby it will be able to use your annual self-inspections against you. Sure to chill those thinking about refinancing with a HUD backed loan or seeking a HUD backed loan to build subsidized housing. REAC stands in the way of getting the homeless off the streets, inter alia
The REAC Impossible Newsletter will bring you another chapter next month on REAC. Stay tuned!
Revised REAC Inspector Supervision Protocol - Quality Assurance Insurance (QAI) Re-Inspection Process
REAC has implemented a new Quality Assurance Inspection (QAI) policy. The new policy means properties can be selected for a re-inspection within five (5) business days of the REAC Inspection. 
A QAI is a re-inspection of a property by a REAC supervisory inspector. The purpose is to check up on the quality of REAC inspectors’ work. The Inspection will duplicate the original inspection – same buildings, same units, etc. The QAI Inspector will not have access to the original inspection and is allowed to ask questions about what was repaired since the original inspection. 
The result could end up in 3 inspections instead of one – a burden on residents and POAs alike. Possible outcomes from a QAI are: 1) The original inspection report and score generated by the contract REAC Inspector, 2) If it is found that the REAC Inspector did not conduct the inspection correctly then the QAI Inspection score will be released, or 3) The original inspection is deep-sixed and a 3 rd inspection is conducted.
REAC wants POAs to add the 5 day QAI information when it notifies residents of an upcoming inspection. The POAs should include the following in its residents notifications: “In the 5 days after the completion of the REAC Inspection REAC may reinspect your unit.” 
The REAC Inspection Handbook 2020 Edition
You may have been a big proponent of having a REAC consultant come in and inspect the property, but not all properties can afford that luxury.

Having this up-to-date 198 page book as a resource guide, you will know what the inspector knows, or should know. And you can self-inspect your properties, thus saving you a lot of money!

This book makes your job easier and is easy to use. It has over 200 pictures, charts and diagrams. For most, pictures tell the story.

More importantly, It's current! The rules and guidelines are fully cross-referenced to every reg, rule, policy including many that have not been published. It includes a massively detailed table of contents for very fast lookup. 

This is a great book! It will make your Pre-REAC preparation a no brainer!

Buy either the Kindle and/or the paperback versions. The buy button below goes to the buy page at the REAC Property Consultants web site
REAC Check Inspection Software
Conduct Unit inspections easily, quickly and in full compliance with REAC defect rules.

REACCheck collects current Uniform Property Condition Standards (UPCS) defects in the units, building exteriors, system components, common areas and site (grounds). It includes scored defects by level of severity, photos, work order time entry field, and more.

The software can generate reports quickly and easily in any format: work orders, by defect, defect level, location, by unit, et cetera.

NSPIRE will mandate annual unit inspections reportable to REAC. Get a head start with REACCheck Software.
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