The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a new rule Friday that would ease the process for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) located in flood-risk areas to make modifications or repairs.
Previously, HUD-financed SNFs located in these at-risk flood areas were subject to an eight-step process before they could implement any building repairs or modifications needed following destruction caused by a disaster.
Under the new rule, SNFs now have the option of a “5 step” process, which intends to speed up the modification/repair procedure by avoiding unnecessary processing delays.
The final rule follows the publication of the December 12, 2011 proposed rule, about which HUD had received several public comments.
The rule also includes revisions of the scope of assistance eligible for the 5-Step Process, depending on the level of improvements needed for certain projects.
Projects that HUD deems need “substantial improvements” remain subject to the 8-Step Process, while projects that fall below the modification or rehabilitation threshold—those that are less severely damaged projects—are eligible for the 5-Step Process.
HUD defines “substantial improvement” as any repair or improvement of a structure—the cost of which equals or exceeds 50% of the market value of that structure before the improvement is started or before the damage occurred.
“This will allow less costly housing units and those housing units damaged by events to receive expedited processing, while more costly and more severely damaged units will continue to be subject to the full 8-Step Process,” states the rule in the Federal Register.
Written by Jason Oliva