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Converting HQS to UPCS-V

On May 4, 2016, in Federal Register Notices 81 FR 26759, HUD announced a new inspection and oversight approach called UPCS-V.

What is UPCS-V?

UPSC-V is the new updated inspection standard for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. UPCS stands for Uniform Physical Condition Standard. UPCS-V 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.

The primary goals of UPCS-V are to:

  • Ensure health & safety of tenants.
  • Align standards more closely with other HUD programs.
  • Provide insight to the condition of assisted housing.
  • Enhance HUD's oversight abilities.
  • Increase simplicity and transparency in the protocol.

Comparison between HQS, UPCS, & UPCS-V

High-Level Similarities And Differences Between UPCS�V And HQS HQS UPCS-V
Provides standardized list of deficiencies and measurable criteria   X
Defined standardized list of Life Threatening and Emergency items   X
Up-to-date health and safety standards   X
Designed as a unit-based inspection standard for federally assisted units X X
Inspection standard aligned with other federally assisted programs   X
Pass/Fail results for all deficiencies X X
PHA ability to adopt HUD-approved variances X X
Uniform inspector training and registration   X
Includes guidance through the use of decision trees that lead to more consistent observations   X
Unit and room acceptability criteria X X
Standardized criteria for PHA submission of electronic inspection data to HUD   X
Photo requirements for fail deficiencies   X
Allow PHAs the use photo and document evidence to ensure all fail deficiencies have been mitigated   X

Like UPCS, UPSC-V provides an objectively measured condition of the housing unit on standardized criteria, by looking at the Site, Building Exterior, Building System, Common Area, and Unit inspectable areas. Like HQS, UPSC-V results in a pass/fail decision.

Some additions focus on current advances in home inspections and changes to standards of health and safety threats in homes today. For example:

  • The addition of Carbon Monoxide Detector, Door Alarm, and Space Heater deficiencies.
  • The expansion of Health & Safety deficiencies, such as the addition of Other Electrical Hazards and Lead Based Paint.

Some changes focus on the conditions and deficiencies that directly affect the tenant and the habitability of the unit. For example:

  • The reduction of deficiencies in the Site, Building Exterior, Building System, and Common Area that do not directly affect the tenant.

UPCS-V will use a deficiency driven protocol, rather than going through a static checklist. Deficiencies will be classified as pass/fail.

What can you do to prepare for UPCS-V?

Stay informed!