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Carson Announces HUD Will Resume Physical Inspections

property inspectionThe U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will resume Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) inspections of HUD multifamily and public housing properties and units next month, under strict safety protocols as the nation attempts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, Secretary Ben Carson announced today.

REAC inspections are the assessment tool that ensures HUD assisted properties meet federal standards of health, safety, and accessibility. On-site inspections were halted last March due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“As we continue to fight this invisible enemy and learn more about the safety precautions needed to keep our HUD residents and staff safe, we are able to bring back critical functions of the Department,” Carson said. “Physical inspections are vital in ensuring the health and safety of the Americans who reside in properties enrolled in HUD’s programs, and I am very pleased to announce today they are resuming.”

Hunter Kurtz, Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing added, "REAC inspections provide a critical service in HUD assisted properties to ensure residents are living in safe and decent housing. I believe we have found a solution to continue this important function while keeping staff, residents, and inspectors healthy."

To keep the residents and staff of HUD properties safe during the inspection process, REAC will prioritize inspections in states and localities based on the latest COVID-19 data from Johns Hopkins University and health risk scoring methodology from the Harvard Global Health Institute. REAC has developed a heat map that categorizes states and localities into four risk categories:

  1. Low Risk—Green
  2. Moderately Low Risk—Yellow
  3. Moderately High Risk—Orange
  4. High Risk—Red

REAC will provide a listing on its website of low-risk counties 45 days prior to the start of physical inspections. At the end of the 45-day period, REAC will provide a 14-day notification to priority properties in that county to inform families that an inspection will take place.

The first outreach from inspectors to properties will start no earlier than September 21, 2020. A comprehensive list of safe inspection locations, as well as an overview of the methodology used to determine them can be found on the website here.

Inspectors will prioritize properties with historically low REAC scores (high-risk properties) in Low Risk (Green) localities. These locations will change over time, and HUD will adjust its inspection plans as needed. For additional information on HUD’s coronavirus response efforts, please visit HUD.gov/coronavirus.

About Author: Christina Hughes Babb

Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media and Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly, Salon.com, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning News, among others. Contact Christina at christina.hughesbabb@thefivestar.com.
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