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HUD Proposes to Replace FHA Building Inspectors with ICC-Certified Inspectors and Code Officials
A U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development proposal to eliminate Federal Housing Administration inspectors recognizes the quality of the work performed by ICC Members and all jurisdictional code officials. The rule change also demonstrates the value of earning International Code Council certification as an inspector and the quality of the Code Council’s rigorous certification process. HUD regulations govern the inspection and warranty requirements of FHA-insured mortgages. In the executive summary of the proposed change, HUD says: “The quality of housing and building technology has improved significantly. In addition, local jurisdictions have adopted more uniform building codes, while more vigorously enforcing their building codes.”ICC filed comments to the HUD Rulemaking Proposal and agreed with the finding that use of the International Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings (IRC) in 49 states and the District of Columbia was strong justification for eliminating the separate and duplicative system of a HUD-maintained roster of FHA inspectors. In the proposal, HUD recognized the increasing quality of inspections by building code officials nationwide. The National Association of Home Builders in written comments said it “strongly supports” the HUD proposal. NAHB cited increased code uniformity, the rigorous examinations required to become an ICC Residential Combination Inspector and familiarity of inspectors with the IRC among the reasons for its support.HUD proposes to eliminate its national inspector roster that dates back to an era when cities and states developed their own building codes with little uniformity or consistency. If the proposal is approved, HUD would rely on local residential building inspections and the certificate of occupancy issued by local jurisdictions to determine if a home is complete and the construction is of acceptable quality. In areas where local inspections are not conducted, HUD proposes to use ICC-certified Residential Combination Inspectors to perform inspections for the FHA.“To be certified by the ICC, Residential Combination Inspectors must pass a rigorous set of examinations, which includes testing their knowledge of the IRC,” HUD said. “As a result, there is no longer a need for HUD to maintain and administer its own standardization process for inspectors.”The HUD proposal seeks to remove requirements it no longer believes to be necessary to reduce some of the administrative burden on homeowners and HUD. The change also is expected to produce dollar savings for homeowners who obtain FHA-insured mortgages.ICC suggested HUD also accept inspections performed by ICC-certified Combination Inspectors as they are certified in all four areas required to be a Residential Combination Inspector. ICC urges code officials to check the status of their certifications to be fully qualified to perform inspections for FHA-insured homes when the proposal is approved.The International Code Council is a member-focused association. It is dedicated to developing model codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. Most U.S. communities and many global markets choose the International Codes.