The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published the Final Rule for the National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate (NSPIRE) in the Federal Register. The rule proposes a new approach to defining and assessing housing quality and reduces regulatory burden. The publication of the final rule follows 16 listening sessions in 15 states with more than 3,330 attendees.
“HUD is transforming how the Department manages the quality of affordable housing units with NSPIRE. We are raising the bar because everyone deserves to live in safe and decent living conditions,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “Stronger standards, better inspections, and greater insights about living conditions will result in healthier and safer homes for residents. That’s a win for everyone.”
NSPIRE improves HUD’s oversight by aligning and consolidating inspection regulations used to evaluate HUD housing across multiple programs. NSPIRE strengthens HUD’s physical condition standards, formerly known as the Uniform Physical Condition Standard (UPCS) and the Housing Quality Standards (HQS). HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) conducts the inspections of HUD-assisted properties in the public and Multifamily Housing programs.
The rule has distinct effective dates for the start of physical inspections using the NSPIRE Standards.
The final NSPIRE rule makes changes to inspections for the Public Housing and Multifamily Housing programs in response to public comments to the proposed rule that was issued on January 13, 2021. In addition to the final rule, HUD will publish three core subordinate publications: the Scoring, Standards and Administrative Notices. Some of the changes the final NSPIRE rule makes include:
NSPIRE improves HUD oversight through the alignment and consolidation of the inspection regulations used to evaluate HUD housing across multiple programs. Additional changes include the following:
While the NSPIRE rule enhanced and updated HUD’s property standards, it retained provisions that ensure the availability of safe, affordable rental housing. This includes HUD-approval of variations for local conditions in the HCV and PBV programs and approval of alternative inspection protocols where there are other affordable housing program requirements. NSPIRE also retains provisions already in place to ensure that residents are provided notice of inspections and have access to inspection reports once available.
NSPIRE advances HUD’s mission to create quality affordable housing and strong, sustainable, and inclusive communities. For more information on NSPIRE, visit the NSPIRE Resources page and view YouTube recordings of the NSPIRE Get Ready sessions in English and in Spanish. Questions about NSPIRE can be sent to .