HUD published the final rule that establishes a new approach to defining and assessing housing quality: The National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate (NSPIRE). This rule is part of a broad revision of the way HUD-assisted housing is inspected and evaluated. The purpose of NSPIRE is to strengthen HUD’s physical condition standards and improve HUD oversight through the alignment and consolidation of the inspection regulations used to evaluate HUD housing across multiple programs. This final rule also incorporates provisions of the Economic Growth and Recovery, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act that will reduce administrative burden on small rural public housing authorities (PHAs).

NSPIRE will apply to public housing inspections beginning July 1 and to the Housing Choice Voucher, Project-Based Voucher, Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation, HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME), Housing Trust Fund (HTF), Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA), Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), and Continuum of Care (CoC) programs October 1.

HUD will provide its grantees additional transition information in three core “Subordinate Notices” to come: the NSPIRE Standards Notice, the NSPIRE Scoring Notice, and the NSPIRE Administrative Notice. HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development will issue additional NSPIRE guidance for the HOME, HTF, ESG, HOPWA, and CoC programs. Other HUD offices will similarly publish further guidance for specific programs.