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Develop and implement a nationwide protocol for field offices, describing how PHA self-inspections should be reviewed, based on REAC's determination of the number and frequency of PHA self-inspections.


Status

The Office of Field Operations will develop and implement a nationwide protocol for field offices, describing how Public Housing Agency (PHA) self inspections should be reviewed, based on Real Estate Assessment Center’s determination of the number and frequency of PHA self-Inspections. Enforcing the requirements of inspection timing are dependent upon software changes to NSPIRE.

The final action target date is August 15, 2024.


Analysis

To fully address this recommendation, HUD must provide evidence demonstrating that it has implemented control activities to ensure that public housing properties are inspected within required timeframes. Implementation of this recommendation will result in HUD accurately tracking the dates in which public housing properties should be inspected and that they are timely completed.

Publication Report

2023-CH-0004 | May 30, 2023

HUD Can Improve Its Oversight of the Physical Condition of Public Housing Developments

We audited the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) oversight of the physical condition of public housing developments.  Our audit objective was to assess HUD’s oversight of the physical condition of public housing developments;… more

Related Recommendations

Public and Indian Housing

  •   2023-CH-0004-001-A
    Priority

    Closed on March 26, 2024

    Develop and implement a nationwide inspection review protocol, which includes but is not limited to (1) whether field office staff should mark verification of PHA corrections of life-threatening deficiencies in PASS or any future tracking systems, (2) acceptable documentation for offsite verifications, and (3) whether field office staff should discuss or verify corrections of non-life-threatening deficiencies.


    Corrective Action Taken

    HUD's Office of Field Operations (OFO) created a protocol describing how it would perform quality control reviews of field office oversight of PHAs’ corrections of life-threatening deficiencies. The implementation of this recommendation resulted in HUD creating a protocol that established consistency in the way HUD field office staff monitored public housing agencies’ corrections of life-threatening deficiencies.

  •   2023-CH-0004-001-B
    Priority

    Closed on April 02, 2024

    Develop and implement training for field offices that addresses reviewing or following up with PHAs about the correction of life-threatening and non-life-threatening deficiencies and how (1) to review physical inspection reports to effectively ensure that PHAs correct physical deficiencies, (2) PHAs should address or correct each type of deficiency observed in the REAC physical inspection report, and (3) to use PASS or any future tracking system.


    Corrective Action Taken

    As part of the agreed upon management decision, HUD stated that it would provide dates of office hours and specific training related to NSPIRE and the expectations for all types of defects as evidence to close this recommendation. These events will cover: 1) reviewing physical inspection reports to effectively ensure that PHAs correct physical deficiencies, (2) how PHAs should address or correct each type of deficiency observed in the REAC physical inspection report, including life-threatening and severe defects (formerly known as EHS under UPCS) as well as the non-life threatening type, and (3) to use PASS or any future tracking system. Additionally, HUD would provide evidence that training occurred such as logs, sign in sheets, screenshots of total Teams meeting attendees, etc., and copies of the training materials used such as power point slides or meeting handouts.

    However, to close the recommendation, HUD provided only a screen print showing that 257 attendees participated in a one-hour training session, held via TEAMs. It did not provide copies of training materials, handouts, or power point slides. Additionally, HUD also did not provide evidence that it has scheduled or held office hours allowing staff to join and ask questions related to life-threatening deficiencies. Therefore, OA objects to the closure of this recommendation.

  •   2023-CH-0004-001-C
    Priority

    Closed on March 26, 2024

    Implement a system to track field office inspection review activities and create a repository for the support documentation collected to verify the correction of life-threatening deficiencies.


    Corrective Action Taken

    HUD’s Office of Field Operations (OFO) had created a quality assurance tracker as well as a life-threatening deficiency tracker, which contained data specific to the inspections selected by OFO HQs, for quality assurance reviews. The documentation (photographs, work orders, etc.) of the life-threatening deficiency correction was maintained in HUD’s NSPIRE Salesforce system.

    Implementation of the recommendation resulted in HUD creating a system to track HUD field offices’ verifications of PHAs’ corrections of life-threatening deficiencies.

  • Closed on September 20, 2023

    We recommend that the Deputy Assistant Secretary for REAC determine whether PHAs are required to perform annual inspections on 100 percent of their public housing units annually and issue clarifying guidance to all PHAs.

  • Closed on September 20, 2023

    If REAC determines that 100 percent annual self-inspections are required, establish specific guidance to address the number of units and frequency of PHA self-inspections. If not required, REAC should evaluate whether HUD’s rationale for inspecting a statistical sample rather than 100 percent of public housing units remains appropriate.