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Preparing for a LIHTC Inspection. Connie Dippel Iowa Finance Authority 10/06. IFA Housing Compliance Specialist Job Summary. Perform periodic physical inspections on projects to make sure:

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Preparing for a LIHTC Inspection

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preparing for a lihtc inspection

Preparing for a LIHTC Inspection

Connie Dippel

Iowa Finance Authority


ifa housing compliance specialist job summary
IFA Housing Compliance SpecialistJob Summary
  • Perform periodic physical inspections on projects to make sure:
    • The project has everything that was listed on the LIHTC application (i.e. community room, computer room, laundry facilities, storage units, garages, playground, etc.)
    • The project is in good repair & no health/safety deficiencies exist.
  • Review documentation in tenant files to make sure tenants have been properly qualified to live in the units. Cross-check information in files with Annual Compliance Reports to make sure it matches.
  • Review other documentation & services at the project to make sure all compliance issues are being met.
  • Monitor problem projects or projects with high vacancies. Perform additional physical and/or file inspections, curb/hall inspections or unannounced inspections if needed.
  • Review Annual Compliance Reports.
  • Notify owner & IRS of any deficiencies found, & whether or not they have been corrected or non-corrected. (This includes items fixed the same day of the inspection.)
  • Work with owners, management companies & managers to answer questions that arise.

We all work together to do our best to provide

safe, decent, affordable housing to low-income Iowans.

correspondence from ifa
Correspondence from IFA
  • All correspondence regarding the project (including inspection notices and inspection findings) is sent directly to the owner or the owner’s designated contact.

Note: It is the owner’s responsibility to forward the correspondence to the

management company/manager in a timely manner.

prior to the inspection
Prior to the Inspection
  • A letter is sent to the owner/owner contact approx. 30 days in advance notifying him/her of the inspection date & time.
    • A Compliance Questionnaire is sent with the inspection notice. It should be completed & given to the inspector at the inspection.
  • A current rent roll must be sent to IFA so that it is received at least 7 days prior to the inspection date. It can be mailed, emailed or faxed.
    • Please include the name & phone number of the contact person that will be at the inspection.
  • Management must give the tenants a minimum of a 24-hour notice that their units may be inspected.
  • Management should do a self-check of the property prior to the inspection to make sure it is in good shape.

Note: We are not allowed to tell you which units/files will be inspected prior to the inspection date.

items needed at the inspection
Items Needed at the Inspection
  • A manager or maintenance person with keys to all units, storage areas, utility rooms, etc. to accompany the inspector on the physical inspection.
  • All original tenant files. (Files should be well-organized.)
    • For 100% inspections, all original first-year move-in files are required.
  • Completed Compliance Questionnaire.
  • Copy of current lease.
  • Copy of current utility allowances from Public Housing Authority (PHA), Rural Development (RD) or utility provider.
  • Copy of Tenant Selection Criteria.
  • Copy of waiting list. (if applicable)
  • Supportive services file. (if applicable)
    • Inspector will ask for copies of documentation showing what services are being provided, amount of participation and how needs are assessed.
  • Operating reserves. (if applicable)
  • Replacement reserves. (if applicable)
  • Marketing, advertising, specials.
  • Copy of inspections done by 3rd parties during the last year (not self-inspections).
  • Copy of most recent inspection reports on fire alarm system, sprinkler system, and an emergency lighting system that cannot be checked by the inspector the day of the inspection (if you have this equipment). This safety equipment must be inspected within the last year.
physical inspection items examples of what we are looking at this list is not all inclusive
Exterior doors

Fire escapes

Exterior lighting


Roofs (shingles, soffit, fascia, downspouts, gutters)

Walls (siding, paint, holes, cracks)


Window screens

Physical Inspection Items(Examples of what we are looking at. This list is not all inclusive.)
  • Fencing/gates
  • Garbage
  • Grounds
  • Parking lots
  • Play equipment/area
  • Retaining walls
  • Signage
  • Storm drainage
  • Walkways/steps

Site Items

Building Exterior Items


Building Items/Common Areas

  • Basement
  • Ceilings
  • Common laundry rooms
  • Community room
  • Electrical items
  • Elevator
  • Emergency lighting
  • Fire protection (sprinklers, fire alarm system, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors)
  • Floors
  • Garages
  • Graffiti
  • Halls/corridors
  • Interior doors
  • Interior walls
  • Kitchen
  • Lobby/office
  • Mailboxes
  • Patios/porches/balconies
  • Restrooms
  • Stairs, handrails
  • Storage areas
  • Trash/litter
  • Utility/maintenance closets
  • Windows
  • Window screens

Unit Items

  • Ceiling
    • Bulging/buckling
    • Holes, missing tiles or panels, cracks
    • Peeling/needs paint
    • Water stains/damage, mold/mildew
  • Doors
    • Holes, paint, rust, broken glass
    • Damaged frames/threshold/ trim
    • Damaged hardware
    • Damaged/missing screen or door
  • Electrical
    • Frayed wiring
    • GFI inoperable/need GFI
    • Outlets wired wrong (such as “open ground”)
    • Outlets have missing/broken cover plates
  • Floors
    • Bulging/buckling
    • Damaged
    • Missing flooring
    • Deteriorated subfloor
    • Water stains/damage, mold/mildew
  • Hot water heater
    • Not working
    • Leaking
  • HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning)
    • Inoperable
    • Noisy/vibrating/leaking
    • Damaged/covers missing

GFI outlet



    • Missing/inoperable fixture
    • Missing switches
    • Missing/broken cover plates
  • Patio/porch/balcony
    • Railings damaged
  • Smoke Detectors
    • Missing/inoperable
  • Stairs
    • Broken/missing hand railing
    • Broken/damaged/missing steps

Unit Items - Continued

  • Walls
    • Bulging/buckling
    • Damaged
    • Damaged/deteriorated trim
    • Peeling/needs paint
    • Water stains/damage, mold/mildew
  • Windows
    • Cracked/broken/missing panes
    • Damaged window sill
    • Inoperable/not lockable
    • Missing/deteriorated caulking/seals
    • Peeling/needs paint

Unit Items - Continued

  • Kitchen
    • Cabinets (missing/damaged)
    • Countertops (missing/damaged)
    • Garbage disposal (inoperable/loud)
    • Plumbing (clogged/leaking)
    • Stove (missing/damaged/ burners don’t work)
    • Stove/range hood exhaust fan inoperable or loud; grease filter has excessive grease
    • Refrigerator (missing/ damaged/inoperable)
    • Sink (missing/damaged)
    • GFI inoperable/need GFI
  • Bathroom
    • Cabinets (missing/damaged)
    • Sink (missing/damaged)
    • Plumbing (clogged/leaking)
    • Shower/tub
    • Toilet (damaged/functioning improperly)
    • Fan inoperable/loud
    • GFI inoperable/need GFI
  • Laundry area in unit
    • Dryer vent missing/damaged/ inoperable
    • Has “accessible” electrical outlet(s) that is not GFI.
      • Need GFI
      • Make double outlet into one outlet that will be in use (not accessible)
      • If no sink is in the area, may install a child safety plug in the accessible outlet w/sign posted that says “DANGER, DO NOT REMOVE PLASTIC PLUG”

This outlet is accessible


Health/Safety Items

  • Air Quality
    • Mold/mildew
    • Propane/natural gas/methane gas detected
  • Electrical Hazards
    • Exposed wires
    • Open panels
    • Water leaks on or near electrical equipment
  • Elevator
    • Tripping hazard (is misaligned)
  • Emergency/Fire Exits
    • Blocked or path is limited
    • Missing exit sign OR there is no illumination in the area of the sign
  • Flammable Materials
    • Improperly stored combustible or flammable material
  • Garbage/Debris (Indoors/Outdoors)
    • Too much garbage/debris has gathered – more than the planned storage capacity.
    • Garbage/debris has gathered in an area that is not sanctioned for staging or storing it.
  • Infestation
    • Insects
    • Rats/mice/vermin (sightings, droppings, rat/mouse holes)
  • Hazards
    • Sharp edges
    • Tripping (anything that poses a tripping risk)
    • Other – The inspector has the authority to cite other general defects or hazards that pose a risk of bodily injury.
contact information for questions
Contact Information for Questions
  • Call IFA & ask to speak to the Housing Compliance Specialist assigned to your county.

Iowa Finance Authority

2015 Grand Avenue

Des Moines, IA 50312

Phone: (515)725-4900 or 1-800-432-7230

Fax: (515)725-4901