Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) Scores are important. Improve your score! Reinspections occur less frequently the higher you score. Scores of 60 and below are referred to the Departmental Enforcement Center and can constitute a Violation and/or Default under the Regulatory Agreement, HAP Contract and/or Use Agreement. Receiving a repeat score of Under 60 can result in a declaration of Default under the Mortgage, Termination of the HAP Contract, and/or other serious actions.
HUD's goal is to reduce the average number of observed exigent deficiencies per property for substandard multifamily housing properties by 10 percent.
Fire safety hazards include:
- window security bars preventing egress
- fire extinguishers expired
(Smoke detectors are excluded from exigent health and safety or fire safety for this measure because they are covered in Indicator C.5.1.).
A significant majority of the deficiencies for multifamily housing are represented by three categories: locked emergency/fire exit egress, missing/broken electrical cover plates/switches/outlets, and exposed wires/missing covers. Large point deductions have been taken recently for Building Systems, primarily due to missing/damaged/expired fire extinguishers. The inspection will receive a ZERO score if the owner does not have a key to a unit selected for inspection.
Easy Steps that Owners, Managers and On-Sites can take to improve REAC Physical Inspection Scores:
- Conduct your own inspection prior to the REAC inspection.
- Cite tenants for disabling smoke detectors.
- Check for tenant-created problems, including tripping hazards (electrical cords), fire hazards (belongings too close to the baseboard heaters) and blocked egress (air conditioners in a room's only window). Cite any violations.
- Make sure electrical boxes are locked, even if they are in a locked room.
- Make sure that all missing breakers are either replaced or properly covered.
- Do not store anything wet or flammable in the room with the electrical panel in it, such as a mop bucket or a gasoline lawn mower.
- Check to make sure that the tags on the fire extinguishers were properly notated as inspected by the Fire Department within the past year
- Address sidewalk tripping hazards from settling (variance of more than a quarter inch).
- Check for other unit tripping hazards (torn or separated carpet seams, deteriorated vinyl flooring).
- Keep stairwells and hallways free of fire hazards. Cite tenants who block exits with belongings.
- Replace cracked or missing light switch plate covers and outlet faceplates.
- Ensure that management has a system for at least annual unit inspections to address ongoing repair needs, such as replacement of doors, windows, screens, flooring, etc.
- Remove non-required, non-operational unit features. For example, pull cords that have been replaced by call-in systems must be removed, or they will be cited as non-operational, even if not in use.