The Minimum Property Standards (MPS) establish certain minimum standards for buildings constructed under HUD housing programs. This includes new single-family homes, multi-family housing and health care type facilities.
Until the mid-1980's, HUD maintained separate Minimum Property Standards for different types of structures. Since that time, HUD has accepted the model building codes, including over 250 referenced standards, and local building codes, in lieu of separate and prescriptive HUD standards.
However, there is one major area of difference between the MPS and other model building codes: durability requirements. Homes and projects financed by FHA-insured mortgages are the collateral for these loans and their lack of durability can increase FHA's financial risk in the event of default.
More specifically, the model codes do not contain any minimum requirements for the durability of such items as doors, windows, gutters and downspouts, painting and wall coverings, kitchen cabinets and carpeting. The MPS includes minimum standards for these, and other items, to ensure that the value of an FHA-insured home is not reduced by the deterioration of these components.
HUD requires that each property insured with an FHA mortgage meet one of the nationally recognized building codes or a State or local building code based on a nationally recognized building code. In areas where such State or local codes are used, HUD determines if the State or local code is comparable to the model building code.
There are also areas of the United States that do not have building codes. If no State or local building code has been adopted, the appropriate HUD Field Office will specify a building code that is comparable to one of the nationally recognized model building codes.