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PHYSICAL INSPECTION - QUALITY ASSURANCE DIVISION (PASS-QA)

The REAC Physical Inspection Quality Assurance (PASS-QA) inspectors perform quality assurance reviews and physical inspections of HUD insured and assisted properties. In addition, the PASS-QA Division provides inspector training, both in the classroom and in the field. PASS-QA's objective is to ensure that Uniform Physical Condition Standards (UPCS) certified contract inspectors perform in a professional manner and conduct accurate, reliable, and repeatable inspections in full compliance with established standards and inspection protocol. This objective reflects HUD's commitment of ensuring that HUD assisted and insured housing is decent, safe, sanitary, and in good repair.

QA QUESTION OF THE MONTH

Hello and thank you for visiting the REAC PASS-QA webpage! 

Regular Question of the Month updates are temporarily on hold. In the meantime, we encourage you to take a look at all of our Previous Questions of the Month by clicking on the link below. You may find some answers to your questions about the inspection process here.

Previous Questions of the Month
 



QA REMINDERS

  • Compilation Bulletin RAPID 4.0: A new REAC Compilation Bulletin (CB) for RAPID 4.0 has been issued, effective 8/12/2014, and supersedes all previous editions and any preceding separate guidance. 

     

  • Inspection of Smoke Detectors in Nursing Homes, Group Homes and Assisted Living Facilities: These guidelines should be applied in conjunction with the clarifications on page 35 of the Compilation Bulletin RAPID 4.0.

    • In these types of facilities, the smoke detectors are often found only in the common areas and not in the client rooms (identified as “units” for the REAC inspection). These units are non-typical units because they often consist of only a sleeping area and a bathroom, unlike typical units which consist of a bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen. In nursing homes, group homes and assisted living facilities, if a smoke detector is not located within the non-typical “unit,” it is not a defect. However, if a smoke detector does exist within the non-typical “unit” it must be inspected for correct operation unless it is an integral part of the building’s fire alarm system and current inspection documentation is provided.

    • If the smoke detectors in these types of facilities are installed only in the common areas such as hallways and offices, the inspector will record “NOD” for [Unit], [Smoke Detector] and enter a comment stating that smoke detectors are located in common areas only in the Building Comments field located on the Building screen.

    Definition of a Building: These guidelines should be applied in conjunction with the clarifications on page 13 of the Compilation Bulletin RAPID 4.0.

    • An individual building is any structure that has a contiguous roofline, a permanent foundation (including pier foundations poured to bearing soil and below frost line), is enclosed on all sides and has at least one utility servicing it such as electric, gas, water, or sewer. 

    • The foundation is not considered permanent if the structure is for example, on skids, or if it is a wooden foundation whereby the structure might easily be picked up with a piece of equipment and relocated.  Structures brought onto properties on wheels, such as a mobile home, are not considered buildings.

    • If a storage shed, garage, carport or other free-standing structure does not meet the definition of a building, do not inspect it as a building.  However, if a Health and Safety deficiency is observed on the structure, it should be recorded as [Site], [Health and Safety], [nearest building], [Hazards], [Any Other - This Does Pose a Risk of Bodily Injury].

    Free-stranding or Attached Structures: These guidelines should be applied in conjunction with the clarifications on page 14 of the Compilation Bulletin RAPID 4.0.

    1. If a storage shed, garage or carport is attached to the exterior of a building and designated for the specific use of a unit, inspect it and record deficiencies in the associated building and unit, as applicable.

    2. If a storage shed, garage or carport is attached to the exterior of a building and used as common space, record deficiencies in the associated building and common area as applicable.

    3. If a storage shed or garage is a free-standing building and designated for the use of a specific unit, inspect it and record deficiencies in the associated building and unit as applicable.

    4. If a storage shed, garage or carport is a free-standing common building, inspect it as an individual common building and record deficiencies as applicable (see case “c.” above for an exception).

    5. If a storage shed, garage, carport or other free-standing structure does not meet the definition of a building, do not inspect it as a building.  However, if a Health and Safety deficiency is observed on the structure, it should be recorded as [Site], [Health and Safety], [nearest building], [Hazards], [Any Other - This Does Pose a Risk of Bodily Injury].

    See below for corresponding examples for each section listed above. They describe commonly encountered situations and provide supplemental guidance to assist inspectors when verifying and conducting inspections on properties with attached and freestanding structures.

    Section a above addresses primarily:

    1. Attached garages and carports on single family homes.  Damaged roof shingles on that garage would be recorded under Exterior/Roofs, while a hole in the ceiling or a missing outlet plate in the garage would be recorded in the Unit. This section includes unusual situations such as a garage attached to any building type and dedicated to a unit (e.g. a handicap accessible unit).

    2. Storage sheds commonly found attached to townhouse units. Defects inside the shed and the shed door are recorded under the Unit while damaged shingles or a missing piece of siding go to the building Exterior.

    Section b addresses a common occurrence, the maintenance shop/garage attached to the side of a residential building. A defect on the exterior wall or roof or on the entry door is recorded under building Exterior.  Defects found inside this attached structure are associated with the most applicable Common AreaBasement/Garage/Carport if the structure is designed, built, and utilized as a garage (housing a lawn tractor for example), Storage if it is used strictly for material storage, and Other Community Spaces if it is set up as a maintenance shop.

    Section c applies to freestanding sheds/garages on single family homes, a duplex with a double garage in the back yard, and a row/townhouse building with dedicated garages on the same parcel of land. 

    1. With respect to Low-Rise/Garden and Mid-Rise Apartment complexes, when each building has a dedicated garage building in close proximity (i.e.  A five-unit row/town house building has a detached car garage with five parking and/or storage areas with an assigned space for the specific use of each of the five units in the building. The row/town house and detached garage will be inspected as one building and the actual interior(s) of each garage and/or storage space assigned to the sample unit(s) will be inspected as part of the sample unit.

    2. The building exteriors, systems, and common areas will be inspected and any defects observed will be recorded in the appropriate inspectable area(s) of the residential building that it is associated with. The interior of the garage and/or storage space two is assigned to Unit 2, which is in the sample. Inspect and record any defect(s) observed in the interior of garage and/or storage as part of Unit 2. The interior of garages and/or storage areas for Units 1, 3, 4, and 5 will not be inspected.

    Section d refers to freestanding maintenance garages/shops, freestanding boiler rooms, telecommunication rooms, guard shacks, or any freestanding structure with a common purpose.

    1. Low-Rise/Garden and Mid-Rise Apartment complexes with freestanding garages or resident storage buildings that are not solely dedicated to a particular building. i.e.; garage/storage units are available on a first-come,first-served basis, change hands often, or are assigned to residents from different buildings throughout the complex and are not associated with individual buildings. These garages (or storage buildings) are a common building and must be included in the profile as such. 

    2. If the interior of the individual garage(s) and/or storage area(s) is assigned to a specific unit, it will only be inspected when it is associated with a unit in the sample. If the common garage/storage buildings contain garage/storage units used by the property for storage or maintenance staff activities, they are inspected as Common Area- Basement /Garage/Carport or Common Area– Storage, as applicable.

    Section e addresses structures that do not meet the definition of a building. The inspector will not inspect the interior but will inspect the exterior for possible H&S deficiencies.

    Tank-less Water Heaters:

    If the inspector can observe that a tank-less water heater has no available connection for a pressure relief valve and discharge line, then the water heater does not require these items, and there is no deficiency. If the tank-less water heater does have an available connection for a pressure relief valve and discharge line, but these items are not present, the condition would be cited as a deficiency. Professional common sense must be applied when assessing this equipment and this clarification should be applied in conjunction with the REAC Compilation Bulletin RAPID 4.0.

    Foil Tape:

    Foil tape, the type that is used on HVAC ducts and is often difficult to remove once installed, is not an acceptable repair to cover openings in and around electrical panels. Foil tape, when used in the following manner, will be cited as a deficiency: 1) when used to eliminate a gap greater than ¼” in or around an electrical panel, 2) when used to cover any opening (such as an open knockout or missing breaker) in or around an electrical panel, or 3) when used to cover an opening around an electrical box or device if the opening presents an electrical hazard. This clarification should be applied in conjunction with the REAC Compilation Bulletin RAPID 4.0.
     

Previous QA Reminders
 


INSPECTOR NOTICES

  • Inspector Notice No. 2009-03; Inspection of Elevator Equipment Rooms
    Effective January 4, 2010, the protocol for inspection of elevator equipment rooms changed. This Inspector Notice advises all UPCS certified inspectors who conduct UPCS inspections of HUD assisted and insured properties of the requirements for the inspection of elevator equipment rooms.
     
  • Inspector Notice No. 2009-02 UPCS Inspection Protocol - Inspecting Stoves and Ranges
    Effective July 20, 2009, the protocol for inspection of ranges/stoves and ovens has changed. This Notice establishes requirements for the inspection of ranges/stoves and ovens by all UPCS certified inspectors who conduct UPCS inspections of HUD assisted and insured properties. The inspection requirements are applicable to all ranges/stoves and ovens in units and in common areas, including, but are not limited to, dining rooms, offices, lunch rooms, day care centers, or recreation rooms on properties subject to UPCS inspections. 

QUALITY ASSURANCE REVIEWS/INSPECTIONS

  • Collaborative Quality Assurance (CQA) Review
    A PASS-QA inspector accompanies a certified contract  inspector, at the HUD assisted or insured property,  during an inspection to evaluate the quality of the inspection, the capabilities of the individual contracted inspector, and whether the inspector conducted a valid inspection using the appropriate inspection protocol. The CQA serves both as an assessment of the inspector’s use of the inspection protocol, either “Within Standard” or “Outside Standard,” and an opportunity for the inspector to enhance his or her skills through the feedback provided by the PASS-QA inspector. 
     
  • Limited Quality Assurance (LQA) Review
    A PASS-QA inspector performs an on-site follow-on review, after a UPCS certified contract inspector has completed an inspection, to determine the validity of the original inspection and work in collaboration with PASS Operations to either accept or reject the inspection. Following the LQA review, the certified inspector's overall performance is rated either "Within Standard" or "Outside Standard."
     
  • Full Inspection
    REAC QA inspectors inspect Public Housing and Multifamily Housing properties to sustain organizational goals, priorities, and initiatives in support of HUD’s Strategic Goal to meet the need for quality affordable rental homes. PASS-QA inspectors perform special inspections in instances such as problem resolution of issues of substantive interest to the Secretary and Assistant Secretary; response to emerging issues in other HUD offices for critical program use; and sensitive inquiries from senior level Departmental managers, members of Congress, Mayors and other state and local government officials, PHAs, and concerned citizens.   

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