Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD)
What is Rental Assistance Demonstration?
RAD or Rental Assistance Demonstration is a program out of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that allows public housing authorities to convert public housing into Section 8 rental assistance (project-based vouchers (PBV) or project-based rental assistance (PBRA)).
Why convert to RAD?
Public Housing funding has been declining steadily in recent years due to low congressional support. At some point, Public Housing funding may not be able to keep up with the costs of necessary maintenance and improvements. Public Housing funding does not help owners refinance with new mortgages to make repairs. Therefore, converting RAD to the Housing Choice Voucher program (Section 8) would allow public housing authorities to use Section 8 funding. The Section 8 funding program has stronger congressional support and Section 8 funding can support new mortgage financing for repairs.
Important facts about RAD:
- There is NO permanent displacement - Public housing residents cannot be involuntarily displaced at the time of the RAD conversion, except for "transfers of assistance" (where tenants have the right to live at another affordable housing property).
- ALL Residents have a right to return - Public housing tenants living at the property before the RAD conversion have the right to remain at the property. If tenants are required to temporarily relocate because of construction work at the property, they have the right to return to the property after the repairs are done.
- NO Rescreening for Existing Residents - Residents cannot be rescreened with more restrictive requirements at the time of the RAD conversion or when they return to their property.
- RAD does not result in the deduction of previously provided units - When public housing properties are demolished and then rebuilt (or substantially rehabilitated) because of RAD, the property owner cannot reduce the number of units at the property ("one-for-one unit replacement") - with some exceptions.
- RAD allows for long-term federally guaranteed affordable housing - When public housing developments convert to PBV or PBRA, HUD, and the owner must sign Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract that initially runs for 15 or 20 years. If there is federal funding, the HAP contract must always be renewed so that units will always be affordable.
- RAD may result in a change in rent - After the RAD conversion, most residents will continue to pay 30% of their income for rent and utilities. However, some residents who pay flat rent may see a rent increase. If that rent increases by more than 10% of the original rent or $25, whichever is greater, the rent increase must be phased in over 3 or 5 years.
- Tenants' lease will be renewed - Owners of RAD-converted properties must renew a resident's lease, unless there is "good cause" not to, such as if tenants seriously or repeatedly break the rules in their lease.
- Residents receive the same protections as they did under public housing - Residents must continue to have the same protections provided under federal public housing laws (Section 6 of the U.S. Housing Act of 1937), which include public housing grievance procedures and termination protections.
- Residents still have the right to participate - After a RAD conversion, residents still have the right to establish and operate a resident organization to address issues related to the living environment, such as the physical conditions of the property.
Primary Goals of the RAD Program:
- Help Housing Authorities become more financially stable through private market financing.
- Guarantee long-term affordability and stability for existing Public Housing residents.
- Address capital needs AND anticipated maintenance and repairs for a selected property over a 20-year period.
Did you receive a notice from HAKC stating that your apartment would undergo a RAD Conversion, and you still have questions?