The 2013 HOME Final Rule substantially revises property standards requirements for development projects. When do these requirements become effective, and how should the participating jurisdiction (PJ) approach implementation?

Date Published: January 2014

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Pursuant to §92.3(b), the new property standards requirements (see §92.251) apply to projects to which funds are committed on or after January 24, 2015. HUD delayed the effective date of the property standards requirements in order to have time to issue additional guidance and provide technical assistance to PJs and to give PJs time to consider how to implement these changes in a thoughtful and effective manner.

Initially, HUD plans to issue guidance regarding how to incorporate the Uniform Property Condition Standards (UPCS) into the property standards for rehabilitation and acquisition. Until this guidance is issued, PJs may want to update their property standards for new construction by reviewing applicable State or local property standards. If there are no State and/or local codes, PJs need to update the required property standard for new construction to the applicable ICC, or IRC codes.

In addition to evaluating and updating the property standards themselves, PJs need to evaluate their current processes for inspecting properties to ensure compliance with property standards. The 2013 Rule requires the following inspections and project reviews:

  • An initial property inspection to determine the extent of work to be completed for rehabilitation projects
  • PJ review and approval of project plans (work write-ups) and cost estimates
  • Construction progress and final inspections to ensure that work is done in accordance with the applicable codes, the construction contract, and construction documents

Once the property standards are updated and inspection procedures are adopted, in order to implement the requirements by January 2015, PJs will need to develop checklists and other tools to implement the new inspections and reviews; train staff and program partners in the new requirements and the inspection procedures; identify how the PJ will determine whether staff are qualified to review and approve plans, construction documents, and construction work. HUD plans to offer additional guidance, training and technical assistance for PJs to assist them in implementation of §92.251.

PJs will also need to incorporate these new requirements into its the written agreements with program partners, and ensure that its monitoring efforts include verifying compliance with these new requirements.

Note: The 2013 Rule also changes requirements to the ongoing property standards and inspection procedures for housing in the affordability period. See §92.251(d) and §92.504(d) related to project completion inspections and ongoing property inspections for additional information.

Tags: HOME Property Standards