HUD has posted the first of three toolkit items about the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) that are intended for use by residents of public housing. “Why RAD?” is a non-bureaucratic overview that touches on potential concerns of public housing residents, such as:
- What is RAD and why is it needed?
- How does RAD conversion work?
- Will RAD conversion affect my housing assistance?
- Will RAD conversion affect my rent?
- How can residents be involved in the RAD process?
- Will RAD conversion require a change to the PHA Plan?
- When can a PHA start the RAD conversion process?
- Will I have to move if my home or building is rehabbed?
- Will RAD increase my ability to choose where I live?
- Will RAD affect resident rights and participation?
“Why RAD?” does not mention a number of important details. For example, the HUD toolkit does not make it clear that:
- The Resident Advisory Board (RAB), citywide resident councils, residents of public housing developments not being considered for RAD, or the general public do not have an opportunity to participate in a public decision-making process until two months after HUD has already given preliminary approval to convert a development to either project-based vouchers (PBV) or project-based Section 8 (PBRA).
- Public housing agencies (PHAs) do not have to replace, on a one-for-one basis, any units that the PHA has left vacant for two or more years.
- Properties converted to project-based Section 8 (instead of project basing of vouchers) are no longer required to meet PHA Plan requirements, and their residents can no longer be on the RAB, be a PHA commissioner, or be on a jurisdiction-wide resident council, unless the PHA voluntarily agrees.
- Once current households who are not elderly or disabled move from a development that converted to project-based vouchers, there is a great likelihood that future residents will have to be elderly or disabled, effectively eliminating family housing.
HUD’s “Why RAD?” site will have two more toolkit items in the near future, “Right to Return” and “RAD FAQs for Residents.” Visit HUD’s “Why RAD?” at: http://1.usa.gov/1aUa450
NLIHC’s updated RAD outline, “Key Features for Public Housing Residents,” is at: http://nlihc.org/issues/public-housing