HOMEfires - Vol. 3 No. 2, February 2001
Q: The HOME Final Rule states that each Participating Jurisdiction must perform on-site inspections of HOME-assisted rental housing. How frequently should these inspections be performed?
How should each PJ determine the number of units that must be inspected?
A: During the affordability period, HOME-assisted rental projects must be inspected regularly to ensure that they continue to meet or exceed the property standards outlined in 24 CFR 92.251. Section 92.504 (d)(1) of the HOME final rule establishes a schedule for on-site inspections based on the total number of units in the project. The schedule is as follows:
- Projects containing one to four units must be inspected every three years;
- Five to twenty-five unit projects must be inspected every two years; and
- Projects with twenty-six or more units must be inspected annually.
Please note that it is the total number of units in the project rather than the number of HOME-assisted units that determines the monitoring schedule.
Section 92.504 (d)(1) also states that the inspections must be based on "a sufficient sample" of units. The Office of Affordable Housing has recommended that each PJ adopt the standard practice of inspecting fifteen to twenty percent of the HOME-assisted units in a project, and a minimum of one unit in every building. For larger projects, a sample of ten to fifteen percent of units should be sufficient. If compliance problems are identified in sample units, the PJ should inspect the remaining units to ensure that all HOME-assisted units comply with established property standards.
n addition to performing a physical inspection, Section 504 (d)(1) requires PJs to verify information submitted by the owner (e.g., with respect to rents and income) as part of the on-site monitoring.