common Deficiencies Found in REAC Inspections

Top 10 Deficiencies Found in REAC Inspections in Affordable Housing Communities

Affordable housing communities backed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) face rigorous scrutiny through periodic evaluations by HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC). With an average of 20,000 inspections conducted annually, and many common deficiencies found in REAC inspections, understanding the focal points of these assessments is crucial for owners and operators committed to providing secure and quality housing.

Encountering Deficiencies in REAC Inspections

The hiatus in REAC inspections from early 2020 to mid-2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulted in a significant backlog. As REAC accelerates inspections to address this and respond to potential declines in housing conditions nationwide, property owners must be vigilant in their preparations. This article highlights the top 10 deficiencies identified in REAC inspections, based on HUD data, offering insights and remedies to avoid penalties and ensure properties meet HUD’s stringent standards.

Top 10 Deficiencies Found in REAC Inspections and their Mitigation Strategies

  1. Kitchen Functionality: Inspectors rigorously evaluate kitchens, focusing on the safety and functionality of built-in appliances. Regular maintenance checks, especially on stoves, can prevent common pitfalls such as inoperative burners or missing knobs.
  2. Security Doors: Essential for resident safety, security doors must function correctly without dual-side key locks to facilitate emergency exits. Routine checks and maintenance can ensure these doors meet HUD’s safety criteria.
  3. Door Hardware Integrity: Doors, particularly exterior and fire doors, are scrutinized for functional hardware. Prior to inspections, a comprehensive review of handles, hinges, and locks can prevent unnecessary point deductions.
  4. Door Seals: Compromised door seals not only affect resident comfort but also energy efficiency. Inspecting and repairing seals, especially in colder climates, can enhance both resident satisfaction and inspection scores.
  5. Electrical Safety: Open breaker or fuse ports present significant safety hazards and must be covered. A simple walkthrough to identify and rectify these electrical safety issues can mitigate risks and improve inspection outcomes.
  6. Electrical Panel Accessibility: While panels need to be covered, they must also remain accessible. Ensuring that furniture or appliances do not obstruct access to electrical panels is a straightforward yet crucial step.
  7. HVAC System Covers: Particularly with baseboard heating, covers must be securely in place to prevent burn hazards and address potential sharp edges. A pre-inspection check can ensure compliance and safety.
  8. Chimney Alignment: Proper alignment of chimneys and ventilation systems with their corresponding appliances is vital. Regular inspections of these systems can prevent misalignments that may raise safety concerns.
  9. Water Heater Compliance: The placement of the pressure relief discharge tube on water heaters is a frequent issue. Ensuring it terminates within 18 inches of the floor can avert one of the most common deficiencies.
  10. General Preparedness: Having a toolkit ready for minor repairs during inspections, such as light bulb replacements or tightening loose fixtures, can demonstrate proactive management and possibly avert penalties.

Proactive Measures Yield Positive Outcomes

By addressing these common deficiencies, property owners and operators can significantly enhance their readiness for REAC inspections. Regular maintenance, coupled with a keen understanding of HUD’s inspection criteria, can not only prevent penalties but also underscore a commitment to maintaining high-quality living conditions for residents. The Inspection Group stands ready to assist with pre-REAC inspections, training, and tailored advice to navigate the complexities of HUD inspections successfully.

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