U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government Here’s how you know

The .gov means it’s official.

Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

The site is secure.

The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Document

We audited the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) oversight of lead in the water of multifamily housing units based on our goal of strengthening the soundness of multifamily housing.  The audit was part of the activities in our fiscal year 2019 audit plan.  Our objective was to determine whether HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs had sufficient policies, procedures, and controls to ensure that households living in multifamily housing units had a sufficient supply of safe drinking water.

HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs did not have sufficient policies, procedures, and controls to ensure that households living in multifamily housing units had a sufficient supply of safe drinking water.  Multifamily housing properties were served by public water systems that reported levels of lead above the Environmental Protection Agency’s lead action level.  However, HUD had limited requirements concerning lead in the drinking water of multifamily housing units and did not require multifamily property owners or management agents to take action regarding the potential for lead in the drinking water.  These weaknesses occurred because HUD relied on the Agency to ensure that public water systems provided water that was safe to drink.  As a result, HUD lacked assurance that households lived in multifamily housing units that had a sufficient supply of safe drinking water.

We recommend that the Director of Multifamily Asset Management and Portfolio Oversight develop and implement an action plan that includes sufficient policies, procedures, and controls that address households living in multifamily housing units having a sufficient supply of safe drinking water.

Recommendation Status Date Issued Summary
2020-CH-0005-001-A Open August 21, 2020

Develop and implement an action plan that includes sufficient policies, procedures, and controls that address households living in multifamily housing units having a sufficient supply of safe drinking water […]


Status

In April 2022, HUD created draft standard operating procedures (SOP) to address lead in the water of its multifamily housing units. On May 11, 2023, HUD published its NSPIRE regulations that addressed lead in the water. Further, on June 30, 2023, HUD published its Implementation of National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate (NSPIRE) Administrative Procedures, which requires property owners and/or agents to provide information about water supply provider and water safety alerts, if applicable, prior to the commencement of a REAC inspection. As a result, the Office of Multifamily Housing is revising its procedures and consulting with the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes.


Analysis

To fully address this recommendation, HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing must provide evidence of an action plan that includes its procedures that address households living in multifamily housing units to ensure that they have a sufficient supply of safe drinking water.

Implementation of this recommendation will enable HUD to have sufficient oversight and control activities in place to ensure households living in multifamily housing units have a sufficient supply of safe drinking water.