Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs - Building Homes and Strengthening Communities

Multifamily Environmental Review Process

The multifamily environmental review process generally assumes that the project will involve acquisition, long-term leasing, new construction or rehabilitation of a multifamily development, public housing development or the development of a single family subdivision.

Limitations on Activities Prior to Environmental Clearance

Awardees cannot engage in any choice-limiting activities prior to environmental clearance per 24 CFR §58.22. Choice-limiting activities include but are not limited to these examples:

  • Acquisition of land;
  • Closing on loans including loans for interim financing;
  • Signing a contract; and
  • Commencing construction

HUD requires a signed Certification as part of all contracts and environmental documents. This certification affirms an awareness of and intention not to take any "choice limiting" actions until environmental clearance is obtained. The consequences of moving forward on a project without environmental clearance will result in both in a loss of time and loss of funding.

This certification extends to the use of other funds utilized for the same project regardless of funding source, including private sources.

Sub-recipients that prematurely engage in a choice-limiting activity will NOT be reimbursed for that activity, and the entire project becomes ineligible for reimbursement from the funding program.

Environmental Review Process Timelines

Type of Multifamily Project

Level of Review

Timeline for Review

Timeline for Publication and Public Participation Process

Total Review Timeline

Rehabilitation (less than 75% of replacement cost)

Categorically Excluded Subject to 58.5

45 – 75 days

Approximately 25 days

70 – 100 days

New Construction, Substantial Rehabilitation, Change in Use

Environmental Assessment

60 – 110 days

Approximately 33 days

93 – 143 days

New Construction, Substantial Rehabilitation with issues that elevate the review such as noise over 75 DNL combined with other factors such as floodplain, etc.

Environmental Impact Statement

1.5 – 2 years

Approximately 48 days

Longer than is feasible for a viable multifamily project

Environmental Review Requirements for Multifamily Reviews

  • 24 CFR Part 58 HUD Environmental Review (see mandatory format below)
  • Phase I ESA per ASTM E1527-13
  • Vapor Encroachment Screening per ASTM 2600-10

Mandatory Submission Format

Environmental Review Documents Required for Multifamily Projects (effective May 2016)

All HUD Part 58 Environmental Review Submissions must follow the format suggested by HUD found on the HUD Exchange website under the right side toolbar titled “Suggested Formats and Sample Notices,” see https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/environmental-review/. You choose the correct forms based on the level of review. HUD’s current format incorporates the project description and determination of level forms; a separate document is no longer needed for these items. The Environmental Submission should now follow the document order as listed below:

  • Site Location Map, close up with overview of area to be reviewed and a broader map view to show location in the State
  • Site Map with set-backs (readable), floodplain (if applicable), and building lay-out;
  • HUD Form (which now incorporates the project description, level of review and all required checklists into one document);
  • All Supporting Documentation arranged in the order of the HUD checklist with attachment letters or numbers for identifiers for each support section; and
  • Support should include all data utilized for the review including maps submitted with correspondence to State or Federal Agencies.
  • Phase I ESA with vapor encroachment screening per ASTM 1527-13 and ASTM 2600-10
  • Any other relevant reports or studies conducted for property including but not limited to Phase II ESA, soil analysis, noise analysis or mitigation plan(s).

Other Requirements for the Multifamily Review

  • A complete conclusion for the analysis of each element on the checklist and provided on the checklist (no separate reports).
    • Ensure that conclusion explains how it was reached and refer to the source documentation that supports this determination.
  • Include all supporting documents in the submission; web-links are not acceptable.
  • Submit Phase I ESA and 24 CFR Part 58 Environmental Review as separate documents.
  • If utilizing portion of the Phase I ESA for the Part 58 Review, do not insert sections, refer to the supporting sections by page number of document.
  • Do not edit or change checklist templates.

HUD Environmental Forms and guidance can be found at:


For other Updates from HUD and TDHCA see the multifamily updates slides in the training section under “Past Training Event Materials”: