requirements related to the evaluation and reduction of lead-based paint hazards and have available proper certifications of such. 5
Although there is considerable variability among local codes, inspection of the LIHC property using local codes should entail an inspection of the project site, building exteriors, building systems, common areas, dwelling units, and health and safety concerns.
Differences between Local Codes and the Uniform Physical Condition Standards (UPCS)
The UPCS do not supersede or preempt6 local health, safety and building codes; i.e., a low-income housing project under IRC §42 must satisfy the local standards and the state agency must report known violations to the IRS. However, if the state agency uses the UPCS to conduct inspections and determines that they are met, the state agency is not required to determine by inspection whether the project meets local standards.
There will be situations when using the UPCS for the state agency’s inspection standard may result in a conflict with the local standards. For example, the local code may require bars on windows to prevent children from falling out whereas the bars may be viewed under the uniform physical condition standards as blocking access/exists in case of emergencies. The conflict should be brought to the attention of the state agency by a governmental entity or individual such as a fire marshal’s office or municipal building inspector who must provide a written submission explaining the nature of the conflict. When conflicts are presented in this manner, the local code will be evaluated by the state agency in determining whether the project or unit is in compliance.
A building is in compliance if, during an inspection of the building, it meets the requirements of the UPCS or local code. Exhibit 6-1 is a sample checksheet that may be useful (it is not required) in helping document physical inspections of LIHC properties. Owners should be notified of the state agency’s findings. Exhibit 6-2 is a sample letter that may be used.
Out of Compliance An LIHC unit, building and/or entire project is out of compliance if:
The owner discloses violations of local standards or incorrectly certifies that the buildings and units in an LIHC project were suitable for occupancy, taking into account local standards (or other habitability standards). See Treas. Reg. §1.42- 5(c)(1)(vi).
During a physical inspection by the state agency, the property had elements that failed to meet the requirements.
In other words, the UPCS do not replace or preempt local health, safety, and building codes.
Revised October 2009