Affordable Housing News

UPCS-V Update

Posted by NMA on Jul 5, 2017 1:27:56 PM

The Housing Con

Specializing in real property services, Jay Ortenzo has been a technical trainer and consultant with Nan McKay and Associates for over 20 years. With more than four decades of housing experience in both public and private sectors, he develops technical training manuals and materials relating to federally subsidized programs on housing inspection, maintenance, and modernization.

An HQS and UPCS trainer with more than 20 years of HCV program experience, Derrick Ratliff has extensive knowledge of HUD regulations, with a specialization in HQS inspections, quality control, and rent reasonableness. He has managed the inspections process for some of the largest PHAs in the country, including over 500,000 HQS and quality control inspections, and spearheaded the first successful program (Owner Excellence Program) in the nation to reward and recognize extraordinary property owners in the HCV program for a Moving to Work (MTW) agency. He is a U.S. veteran (USMC) and a member of Toastmasters International.

Regulatory Knowledge for Smart Management

UPCS-V Update

Presenters:
Jay Ortenzo
Derrick Ratliff

This is a great opportunity to learn the differences between HQS and UPCS-V. Uniform Physical Condition Standards for Vouchers (UPCS-V) is the new updated inspection standard for the housing choice voucher (HCV) program. It combines the consistency and objectivity of UPCS inspections with the focus on the condition of individual housing units of HQS inspections. UPCS-V is based on UPCS protocol and definitions (with the "V" signifying "voucher") with additions of unique items from the HQS inspection. Get updates and feedback from HUD’s beta-testing of UPCS-V!

Learn more

 

Topics: The Housing Conference, UPCS-V

Register now for free Q&As at The Housing Conference

Posted by NMA on Apr 11, 2017 12:39:24 PM

The Housing Conference in Boston

Signups for Q&A sessions at The Housing Conference are now open!

We’re thrilled to be taking our fifth annual national housing conference to Boston this August. Included with every conference registration is the opportunity to reserve a free, one-hour Q&A session with one of our NMA experts, including Nan herself!

If you’re registered for the conference and want to sign up for a session, click here and reserve your time now. The Q&A sessions are limited to registered attendees and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

The tentative agenda has just been updated, and when you register now you'll receive early bird pricing!

Join us August 21-22, 2017, for two fantastic days of networking, learning, and exploring the beautiful and historic city of Boston, Massachusetts. Industry experts will present sessions and panels on the latest topics in affordable housing, including:

  • An update on UPCS-V, the proposed inspections protocol to replace HQS
  • How to deal with generational differences in the workplace
  • What you need to know if you're a new executive director
  • Nan McKay's annual legislative update, including new rules and notices
  • Best practices in PBV and RAD PBV
  • Public/private partnerships and grant funds
  • What you need to know before applying for MTW
  • Understanding tax credits and RAD finance
  • Best practices in managing FSS, plus how to start a new FSS program in PBRA
  • What's new in capital fund finance
  • Best practices in PBRA and RAD PBRA
  • Effective waitlist management
  • What's new in fair housing
  • Best practices in SEMAP
  • CDBG-DR and resilience
  • Roundtable panel session with NMA Housing Awards winners
  • And more!

Visit our website to register!

Topics: capital fund, CDBG, fair housing, financial management, FSS, HQS, inspections, LIHTC, MTW, NMA Housing Awards, PBRA, PBV, Program News and Notices, RAD, SEMAP, The Housing Conference, UPCS-V

Agenda now available for 2017 national conference

Posted by NMA on Mar 13, 2017 11:39:22 AM

The Housing Conference | August 21-22, 2017 | Boston, MAThe tentative agenda for our fifth annual national housing conference is now available, and when you register now you'll receive early bird pricing!

Join us August 21-22, 2017, for two fantastic days of networking, learning,
and exploring the beautiful and historic city of Boston, Massachusetts. Industry experts will present sessions and panels on the latest topics in affordable housing, including:

  • An update on UPCS-V, the proposed inspections protocol to replace HQS (panel session)
  • Best practices in managing FSS, plus how to start a new FSS program in PBRA (panel session)
  • Best practices in PBRA and RAD PBRA (panel session)
  • Best practices in PBV and RAD PBV
  • Best practices in SEMAP (hands-on session)
  • CDBG-DR and resilience
  • Effective waitlist management
  • How to deal with generational differences in the workplace
  • Nan McKay's annual legislative update, including new rules and notices
  • Public/private partnerships and grant funds (panel session)
  • Quality control
  • Rent reasonableness
  • Roundtable panel session with NMA Housing Awards winners
  • Succession planning
  • Understanding tax credits and RAD finance
  • What you need to know before applying for MTW
  • What you need to know if you're a new executive director
  • What's new in capital fund finance
  • What's new in fair housing

Visit our website to register!

Topics: capital fund, CDBG, fair housing, FSS, HQS, inspections, LIHTC, MTW, NMA Housing Awards, PBRA, PBV, Program News and Notices, quality control, RAD, rent reasonableness, SEMAP, The Housing Conference, UPCS-V

Agenda now available for 2016 national conference

Posted by NMA on Jun 22, 2016 11:23:46 AM

Just one week left for early bird pricing! Register by June 30 to receive the best rates for The Housing Conference.

The updated agenda is now available here. Industry experts will present sessions and panels on the latest topics in affordable housing, including:

  • Affirmatively furthering fair housing (AFFH) final rule
  • Community partnerships
  • Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
  • Creating an ongoing leasing plan
  • Family self-sufficiency and resident opportunities
  • Insurance for development projects
  • Rent reasonableness
  • Technology strategies
  • Strategies for success in HCV audits
  • Upcoming legislation
  • New inspection protocol for the voucher program
  • Best practices in managing portability
  • Best practices in managing VASH vouchers
  • Best practices in preventing shortfall
  • Best practices in public housing unit turnover and vacancy tracking
  • RAD post-closing operational transition for PBRA and PBV
  • What to consider before applying for the MTW program

Presented by NMA and HAI Group, this year's conference in San Antonio, Texas, will also feature a roundtable panel session with NMA Housing Awards winners.

The Housing Conference

Visit our website to register!

Topics: CDBG, fair housing, FSS, HAI Group, inspections, MTW, NMA Housing Awards, Partnerships, PBRA, PBV, portability, Program News and Notices, RAD, rent reasonableness, ROSS, The Housing Conference, UPCS-V, VASH

REAC posts high-level overview of UPCS-V

Posted by NMA on May 23, 2016 1:37:13 PM

The Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) Oversight and Evaluation Division (OED) has posted a PDF slide deck offering a high-level overview of the upcoming Uniform Physical Condition Standards for Vouchers (UPCS-V) demonstration.

The overview discusses the need for a new standard, the transition from housing quality standards (HQS) to UPCS-V, and enhancements and benefits provided by the new standard. It also explains UPCS-V deficiencies, decision trees, and inspection reports, in addition to providing other demonstration-related examples.

To view the deck, click here. For more information on the demonstration, click here. Additional resources and information regarding UPCS-V can be found on the OED webpage.

Got questions about UPCS-V? Don’t miss the The Housing Conference this September in San Antonio, Texas, where NMA’s Michael Petragallo and other industry experts will address hot topics around the proposed new HCV inspection protocol. Register online or email sales@nanmckay.com for more information.

Topics: HQS, inspections, Program News and Notices, The Housing Conference, UPCS-V

Exploring the New Frontier of UPCS-V

Posted by NMA on May 13, 2016 10:30:18 AM

Michael Petragallo, VP of NMA Inspections, presenting a session on HQS deregulation at NMA's inaugural housing conference in San Diego

As vice president of NMA Inspections, Michael Petragallo leverages over 20 years of experience providing HQS inspection services and more than 1.5 million successfully completed HQS, UPCS, and rehabilitation inspections. He recently wrote for the NMA blog about the deregulation of HQS inspections and what that means for the affordable housing industry. Michael will be presenting the following session on the proposed new inspection protocol for the HCV program, UPCS-V, at The Housing Conference.

Executive Leadership for Performance Excellence

Exploring the New Frontier of UPCS-V
Presenter, Michael Petragallo

Housing professionals who manage inspections in the voucher program have certainly been on a bumpy ride the past few years, from the 2014 HQS deregulation and the implementation of biennial inspection options to HUD's recent proposal of an entirely new inspection protocol, Uniform Physical Condition Standards for Vouchers (UPCS-V). With the UPCS-V demonstration now announced, if not yet officially open, we have more questions than answers. In this session, NMA’s inspections experts will cover them all, including:

  • What is UPCS-V? Get an in-depth review of the new inspection protocol.
  • Scoring vs. pass/fail... what does it mean?
  • How does the proposed protocol affect our inspections deliverables to landlords and HUD?
  • What impact might it have on housing authorities, their inspections teams, and the landlord community?
  • And what about the technical aspects? The operating system is just the tip of the iceberg.

Register online or email sales@nanmckay.com for more information. Could your agency use help with inspections? Our team of NMAI professionals have an average background of 12 years’ experience conducting inspections, are highly qualified and certified in HQS and/or UPCS, and have completed required sensitivity and sexual harassment training as well as extensive criminal background checks before beginning work. For more information about NMA Inspections, please visit our website or contact us directly at sales@nanmckay.com.

Topics: HQS, inspections, Partnerships, The Housing Conference, UPCS-V

PIH requests comments on UPCS-V demonstration

Posted by NMA on May 4, 2016 2:01:01 PM

In a Federal Register notice today, HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) announced that it plans to conduct a demonstration designed to test a new method of assessing the physical condition of housing assisted by HUD vouchers.

The proposed new method, dubbed Uniform Physical Condition Standards for Vouchers (UPCS-V), was first announced in December of last year. As the notice explains:

In the joint explanatory statement accompanying the act appropriating funds for HUD in fiscal year (FY) 2016, Congress directed HUD to implement a single inspection protocol for public housing and voucher units. This demonstration would commence the process for implementing a single inspection protocol by soliciting PHAs to voluntarily move to the single inspection protocol, conduct field testing, and participate in oversight and monitoring activities related to the new standard.

In addition to improving outcomes for families and aligning program standards, this demonstration will provide valuable feedback to HUD about how to efficiently and effectively implement UPCS-V at all PHAs. Congress has provided HUD with funding to improve its oversight of the HCV inspection program and to move the inspection standard for the HCV program to one that is consistent with other affordable housing programs and that incorporates modern health and safety practices.

The UPCS-V demonstration will evaluate three components of the new inspection protocol: its objective condition standards, its information technology (IT) processes, and the new oversight approach.

After HUD’s initial round of testing has been completed, PHAs participating in the objective condition standards component of the demonstration will conduct a portion, depending on the PHA’s capabilities, of up to 100 percent of their required HCV physical inspections using UPCS-V in place of HQS. This component will continue throughout the up to three-year duration of the demonstration until HUD has sufficient information to evaluate the success of PHAs using UPCS-V and assurance that the new method is achieving consistent results.

UPCS-V is designed as an electronic inspection model. The IT component of the demonstration will test the transition from a paper-based to an electronic inspection approach. Initially, the UPCS-V inspections will be performed electronically using HUD-provided software, and all inspections will include photos of the most severe deficiencies.

In the oversight component of the demonstration, HUD seeks to ensure PHAs are consistently identifying substandard housing, remedying such cases appropriately and in a timely manner, and accurately reporting HCV unit-based inspection outcomes to HUD. Selected PHAs will be required to participate in quality assurance and internal controls reviews, technical assistance, and training activities.

Finally, the notice outlines some participation requirements for the demonstration:

  • The PHA must administer a housing choice voucher program
  • PHAs participating in any aspect of the demonstration will be required to participate in focus groups, conference calls, and training sessions
  • The PHA must conduct at least 10 inspections per week, and the geographic spread of those inspections should be such that 90 percent of inspections are accessible within a 30 mile (or 1 hour) driving range
  • If selected, the PHA must participate in the demonstration throughout the duration of the testing period for at least one (1) calendar year with the possibility of an extension, as determined by HUD, for a maximum total of three (3) years
  • PHAs that participate will also need to provide an internet-connected operating system (iOS) or Android-based electronic handheld device (smartphone or tablet) for each PHA staff inspector participating with capability to download the required HUD-provided inspection software

If you wish to submit comments on the proposed demonstration, you will find instructions following the “Addresses” heading in today’s notice. HUD will accept comments on all aspects of the proposed demonstration until July 5, and is particularly interested in answers to the following questions:

  1. HUD is considering selecting for participation only PHAs that do not utilize contract inspectors. Are there any instances where an exception to this criterion might be useful?
  2. Will utilizing commercial, off-the-shelf hardware, such as internet-connected tablets or smartphones, reduce the barriers to participation for PHAs as opposed to having PHAs use more specific devices such as those required for other HUD UPCS inspections?
  3. Are there other PHA characteristics that HUD should consider in selecting PHAs to participate in the demonstration?
  4. Are there other revisions outside of the UPCS criteria that HUD should consider when moving toward a single inspection protocol?

Topics: HQS, inspections, Program News and Notices, UPCS-V

Legislative Update with Nan McKay

Posted by NMA on May 3, 2016 10:42:07 AM

While serving as executive director of a Minnesota housing authority, Nan McKay started one of the nation’s first Section 8 programs. She has previously written for the NMA blog on the topic of executive management and high performance as well as stories from her fifty years in the housing industry.

With three decades of experience in welfare and public housing, Annie Stevenson shares her expertise in many ways at NMA, serving as a trainer to thousands of housing authority staff every year; as a technical researcher who analyzes and deciphers new HUD regulations; and as a technical writer, contributing to NMA Master Books, seminars, and model policies as well as writing the popular daily PIH Alert. Nan and Annie will be presenting the following session at The Housing Conference.

Regulatory Knowledge for Smart Management

Legislative Update with Nan McKay
Presenters, Nan McKay with Annie Stevenson

One of the most popular sessions at The Housing Conference is always Nan's review of recent regulations, guidance, and breaking news. We're bringing her back this year to fill us in on the most important changes of 2016, including the final rule on streamlining administrative requirements and its accompanying notices, new guidance on the use of criminal records, and a forecast of what she sees ahead for our industry in 2017, including the planned expansion of the Moving to Work (MTW) program and REAC's plans to replace HQS with a new inspection protocol, UPCS-V.

Nan and Annie will be available for limited free one-hour Q&A sessions at the The Housing Conference this September in San Antonio, Texas. Registered participants can sign up on a first-come, first-served basis now. Register online or email sales@nanmckay.com for more information.

Topics: criminal records, Executive Team, final rule, HQS, inspections, MTW, streamlining, The Housing Conference, UPCS-V

REAC posts draft dictionary for UPCS-V

Posted by NMA on Apr 22, 2016 10:24:33 AM

The Oversight and Evaluation Division (OED) is currently revising HUD’s methods for overseeing inspections in the housing choice voucher (HCV) program. REAC plans to replace the current housing quality standards (HQS) with a new inspection protocol called UPCS-V (with the V signifying “voucher”), and has previously announced that a demonstration period for the new protocol would begin early this year.

As part of this process, REAC has posted a recently revised draft version of the UPCS-V Dictionary of Definitions. The dictionary lists each possible deficiency and levels of deficiency comprising the UPCS-V inspection standard based on five inspectable areas: unit, building systems, building exterior, common areas, and site. The dictionary also contains a separate section for health and safety deficiencies. While the UPCS-V Dictionary of Definitions will be the inspector’s primary resource in making deficiency decisions, REAC is careful to note in the document that the draft version should not be construed as the final UPCS-V standard.

As previously reported, REAC has already sent a letter requesting feedback from technical experts on a proposed list of UPCS-V deficiencies and defects, and has also stated that it intends to reach out to coordinate a technical forum discussion. In the meantime, questions or comments regarding UPCS-V should be directed to upcsv@hud.gov.

Could your agency use help with inspections? Our team of NMAI professionals have an average background of 12 years’ experience conducting inspections, are highly qualified and certified in HQS and/or UPCS, and have completed required sensitivity and sexual harassment training as well as extensive criminal background checks before beginning work. For more information about NMA Inspections, please visit our website or contact us directly at sales@nanmckay.com.

Topics: HQS, inspections, Program News and Notices, UPCS-V

REAC requests feedback on new HCV inspections

Posted by NMA on Feb 16, 2016 11:12:30 AM

In a letter emailed last week, HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) provided an update on its new Oversight and Evaluation Division (OED), which will revise HUD’s methods for overseeing inspections in the housing choice voucher (HCV) program.

REAC plans to replace the current housing quality standards (HQS) with a new inspection protocol called UPCS-V (with the V signifying “voucher”). REAC previously announced that a demonstration period for the new protocol would begin early this year. Last week's letter gives us our first peek at what that new protocol might look like:

As one of the first steps of preparing for the demonstration, HUD seeks feedback from your technical experts on the proposed list of UPCS-V deficiencies and defects attached to this letter, specifically whether HUD has accurately identified those items that should fail a unit and whether HUD has used industry standard terminology that will be understandable in all the geographic regions we serve.

We will be reaching out shortly to coordinate a date and time for a technical forum discussion with representatives and members from your organization. Until then, if you have other questions or comments about the UPCS-V standard, please email us at upcsv@hud.gov.

Could your agency use help with inspections? Our team of NMAI professionals have an average background of 12 years’ experience conducting inspections, are highly qualified and certified in HQS and/or UPCS, and have completed required sensitivity and sexual harassment training as well as extensive criminal background checks before beginning work. For more information about NMA Inspections, please visit our website or contact us directly at sales@nanmckay.com.

Topics: HQS, inspections, Program News and Notices, UPCS-V

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