Business as Usual, but Different: Arlington Housing Authority Inspectors Conduct Inspections through Facetime
By Office of Communication
Posted on April 02, 2020, April 02, 2020

Facetime AHA Inspection

The Arlington Housing Authority operates several programs to help find housing, rehabilitate homes, and provide rental assistance for low-income Arlington residents. Many of these programs require annual inspections of the homes to assess living conditions and ensure it meets all city codes and ordinances. The Housing Authority Inspectors are still conducting inspections in-person for vacant units and in emergency situations. For homes that have families living in them; however, in-home inspections have been suspended due to social distancing requirements. To try to keep business going as usual for our residents most in need, the Arlington Housing Authority Inspectors got creative and put technology to work – they’re conducting virtual inspections with clients using Facetime.

How does it work?

Inspectors are calling Arlington Housing Authority rental assistance clients and offering an annual inspection over Facetime since they cannot do in-person inspections. If the clients agree, an appointment is scheduled for the inspection. The Inspectors call the clients using city iPads, and the inspection begins. The resident literally walks through the home and demonstrates the condition of the home, starting at the front door. During the inspection they ask the resident to show vent fans, dishwashers, garbage disposals, and smoke detectors to ensure they are working properly. They show walls, windows, floors, electrical panels, and water heaters as they would if they were in the home. Like a normal in-person inspection, inspectors talk with the residents and ask questions about the home, their experience, and if they are having any issues. Throughout the inspection, the inspector is writes down items for correction and makes general notes to complete the inspection.

It's not a perfect system – an in-person inspection would be better. Despite a few obstacles, the Housing Inspectors of the Arlington Housing Authority are innovatively providing services to residents who depend on the City for housing assistance. It’s business as usual, but different.

Coronavirus, Arlington Housing Authority
News, Housing