Member Feedback Request – RHS Proposed Rule on Multifamily Housing Insurance Requirements; RHS also Launches New Physical Inspection Process

Member Feedback Request – RHS Proposed Rule on Multifamily Housing Insurance Requirements; RHS also Launches New Physical Inspection Process

Please find two recent RHS updates below:

  1. NAHMA is requesting member feedback on the attached proposed regulation on insurance requirements. Below, RHS states, “Updating insurance coverage and deductible requirements will align Rural Development MFH insurance coverages and deductible limits with current affordable housing industry standards”.  NAHMA would like to provide industry comments to RHS and request Members provide comments/feedback to me, by Thursday, December  14th.  
  2. RHS Launches New Physical Inspection Process

Proposed Rule – Updates to Multifamily Housing Insurance Requirements

 The Rural Housing Service (RHS) Office of Multifamily Housing (MFH) published a proposed rule on Wednesday, October 25, 2023 (Federal Register Vol. 88 No. 205) to update current regulation for MFH insurance coverage and deductible requirements. 

The MFH insurance coverage and deductible requirements were established in 2004.  Updating insurance coverage and deductible requirements will align Rural Development MFH insurance coverages and deductible limits with current affordable housing industry standards.

The Agency is seeking comments.  Comments on the Proposed Rule may be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal as outlined in the Federal Register Proposed Rule.  The comment period for the proposed rule will end on December 26, 2023.  To submit or review comments, please visit the Federal eRulemaking Portal.

The Rural Housing Service (RHS) Launches New Physical Inspection Process

The Multifamily Housing Division of USDA’s Rural Housing Service (RHS) is launching a new way of conducting the physical inspection segment of its Tri-Annual Supervisory Visit (SV); the most important tool for monitoring a borrower’s continued compliance with the management, financial, and occupancy requirements at a multifamily property. Physical inspections will still be conducted according to the inspection standard found at 7 CFR 3560.103. However, going forward, the majority of physical inspections will be conducted by professionally trained contract inspectors instead of RHS field staff. The new process will utilize the physical inspection report form developed by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) that covers all elements of the USDA inspection standard.

The new inspection process was tested by RHS from October 2022 through August 2023 by conducting 1,075 inspections through the Multifamily Physical Inspection Pilot Program (MPIPP). The final evaluation of the pilot program verified that the new inspection protocol provides accurate and objective results using a method that adheres to the inspection standard.  The other two segments of the Tri-Annual Supervisory Visit, the tenant file review and the compliance review, will continue to be conducted by Multifamily field staff either virtually, or in some cases in person.

In September 2023, RHS awarded a 4-year contract to Tribal 1 Technology, LLC and it’s subcontractor, Bisco, Inc. In fiscal year 2024 Tribal 1 and Bisco will conduct approximately 3,000 physical inspections on RHS’s behalf. If one or more of your properties will be inspected this year, you will be contacted by the Multifamily Serving Specialist assigned to your property within the next few weeks. Tribal1 will reach out to schedule inspections between November 2023 and September 2024. Inspections are scheduled 28-days in advance and Tribal1 will provide detailed instructions on what you need to do to prepare for and complete the inspection.  If you have questions, please contact the Servicing Specialist who has oversight of your property.

Larry Keys, Vice President of Government Affairs
National Affordable Housing Management Association
400 N. Columbus St., Suite 203, Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone 703-683-8630, ext.111 Email Website www.nahma.org

Changes Related to Insurance Requirements in MFH Direct Loan and Grant Program