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Uniform Physical Conditions Standards

The Uniform Physical Condition Standards (UPCS) protocols are the defect definitions used during HUD REAC (Real Estate Assessment Center) PASS (Physical Assessment Sub-System) inspections. This protocol is the standard for inspections conducted by HUD, USDA and IRS Tax Credit housing throughout the country. REAC PASS scores allow the condition of both privately and publicly owned, subsidized, and insured properties across the country to be compared within one standard scoring system. HUD requires the use of the UPCS protocols in public housing during 100% annual inspections (replacing the HQS protocol). How well you score when the REAC Inspector pays you a visit, will be determined by how well you conduct these annual inspections. We actively encourage all clients to transition to using the UPCS protocol for their in-house inspections. If your organization uses the UPCS protocol during regular inspections, it is as if the REAC inspector were there every day. By being familiar with this protocol and its impact on scoring, your organization can better allocate time and effort to remedy defects while maximizing your REAC PASS score. TIG wants to help you succeed because, working together, we can all succeed in creating and preserving quality affordable housing opportunities that are the foundation of safe, healthy communities. We will work with you to develop a custom, expedient and practical inspection schedule, including a tenant notification program if needed. We will inspect all areas in accordance with the UPCS protocol. We can also perform your Energy Audit and/or your Physical Needs Assessment while doing these inspections. We recommend this highly cost-effective comprehensive solution. All TIG clients receive at least five reports per property:
  • Certified Report - documents all areas inspected (used for official documentation);
  • List of Deficiencies Report - lists only the defects, their levels, locations and additional comments (great for work orders);
  • Scored Report - virtually as if REAC inspection was performed (which is great for showing the relative impact each defect can have on scores);
  • Exigent and Fire Safety Hazards Observed Report - the same document provided during REAC inspections if any of the qualifying conditions are observed.

REAC Consulting

Expert REAC Consulting Consists of 4 Main Components:

Pre-REAC Inspections: “How to Achieve the Highest Score at the Least Cost” - One of the biggest misconceptions we try to dispel is that the objective of a Pre-REAC inspection is to find as many defects as possible and then fix them all. We believe a truly competent REAC consultant should assist a client in separating the highest scoring defects from those that barely affect the score, so a practical strategy can be developed to achieve the highest possible REAC score with the least expenditure of valuable time and money and the least disruption to normal operations. It is our goal that the guidance we provide in this area will always save our clients significantly more time and money than the cost of our services so the decision to have us conduct your pre-inspection becomes a “no brainer” choice, representing a definite net savings to the property.

We suggest doing your pre-REAC inspections from 60 to 120 days prior to upcoming REAC inspections. This provides ample time to remediate the identified deficiencies prior to the official REAC inspection. Waiting until the last minute could cost big points as there are some deficiencies that may take longer to remedy.

UPCS Training - Every Pre-REAC inspection should also be considered a training exercise, for the property’s manager, maintenance personnel, and even the regional or portfolio level management. We encourage our clients to ask questions throughout the pre-inspection, and our inspectors provide a continuing narrative throughout this process. There are many other types of REAC training that we provide as well. These include a two-day live seminar and a one-day seminar. Not only do we provide speakers and live presentations on all REAC topics for any type of conference or industry event, public or private, but we also provide customized online seminars for any REAC training need.

Inspector Escort (Shadowing:) “Taking the Right Notes, Knowing When to Speak and When to Say Nothing at All” - Some believe that the job of an escort is to argue with the inspector in hopes of getting him or her to overlook defects. This is a misguided approach that can lead to conflict and lack of cooperation from the inspector. In our philosophy, the escort’s job is minimize conflict and keep the inspection moving along quickly and smoothly, keeping the process amiable and cooperative. A skilled escort knows when to simply take notes, and avoid “whining” about small defects that barely affect the score, and when to ask pointed questions that might lead an inspector to reconsider a questionable defect. When the inspector must cite higher scoring defects, the skilled escort knows what notes and photos to take to support an effective appeal. When the inspection is moving quickly and smoothly, and the atmosphere is cordial, it is also much easier to persuade the inspector to add factual comments that support a planned appeal.

Appeals: “Data Base Adjustments and Technical Reviews” - Contrary to popular misconception, the Uniform Physical Condition Standards (UCPS,) the standards upon which the REAC inspection are built, are NOT a set of rules or codes by which the property must abide. They are merely a very generalized inspection standard that the inspector must follow. When they conflict with code or more expert opinion, they do not override them. Many REAC defects can be appealed under the argument that the condition is “allowable by local code.” Other defects can be appealed as “work in progress” or “conditions beyond ownership control.” Still others can be appealed on a technical basis using a written expert opinion from an architect, code official, plumber, electrician, or other professional as appropriate. Any REAC consultant who is not utilizing the appeals system to its fullest advantage is simply not an expert.

Housing Quality Standards Services

Inspection Department Efficiency Analysis (IDEA) - We review your inspection department process, procedures and cost then identify areas of savings and opportunities for improvement. We then develop a plan for implementing those improvements. If we can’t help it’s free.

Quality Assurance/ Quality Control Inspections - We conduct Third Party Quality Control Inspections that meet HUD regulations and relieve the additional workload put on your agency.

HQS Inspections - From simply conducting Annual Inspections when you agency might need a little extra help during an extended employee absence to a complete turn-key inspection program, we work with you to design a program that meets your agency needs regardless of the number of vouchers you administer.

Special Programs - From time to time agencies are required to perform unique inspections. The may be hybrid inspections that require HQS knowledge but also UPCS or Code knowledge. Whatever you agency need we have trained professional inspectors ready to serve you.

Why you should be doing business with us…

We are dedicated to helping our clients and customers improve program efficiency by providing concise, high-quality information to property management decision makers.