The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a proposed rule that would require all public housing authorities (PHAs), regardless of size, to conduct physical needs assessments (PNAs). If implemented, it would require the following:

  • Assessments of life-cycle replacement, repair, and modernization costs for public housing projects for a 20-year period (currently, the required assessment period is five years)
  • Annual updates, with completion of new PNAs every five years
  • PNAs by all PHAs, including those with fewer than 250 units and Moving to Work (MTW) participants
  • Completion of new PNAs in conjunction with energy audits, with audit results incorporated into and addressed in the PNAs
  • Electronic submission of PNA results via a new HUD system, which will be used to analyze data and as another HUD monitoring tool
  • Minimum qualifications for PHA staff or outside consultants who conduct PNAs
  • Alignment of the timing and completion of new PNAs with PHA submissions of five-year plans

HUD estimates that the new PNAs will be more costly to PHAs to implement than current PNAs, averaging approximately $65.22 per unit compared with a HUD estimate of $50 per unit for current PNAs.

Comments on the proposed rule are due to HUD on September 19, 2011. HUD is soliciting comments, in particular, about the following:

  • The benefits and challenges of preparing energy audits in conjunction with PNAs
  • The appropriate qualifications for PNA providers and the appropriateness of PHA staff performing PNAs used for internal strategic planning purposes
  • Whether HUD should require that PHAs use a third-party provider to conduct PNAs

Click here for the full text of the proposed rule.

Ballard Spahr will continue to monitor HUD’s plans for implementing this proposed rule. For more information, please contact Amy M. Glassman at 202.661.7680 or

In the area of housing law, Ballard Spahr has a nationally recognized practice marked by a history of leadership in the development and financing of housing and community development projects. The firm represents numerous state and local housing finance agencies and public housing authorities, as well as developers, mortgage and investment bankers, commercial lenders, and low-income housing tax credit investors in housing and community development transactions. The firm also advises clients on the programs and requirements of HUD, FHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and GNMA. For a full description of our practice, click here.


Copyright © 2011 by Ballard Spahr LLP.
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