HUD’s Office of Recapitalization (Recap) issued Notice H-2023-08/PIH-2023-19, “Rental Assistance Demonstration – Supplemental Notice 4B,” dated July 27. Supplement 4B contains improved resident engagement provisions, new climate resiliency requirements, changes to RAD/Section 18 Blends provisions, Faircloth-to-RAD features, and other changes. Supplement 4B amends the basic RAD implementation Notice H-2019-09/PIH-2019-23, “Rental Assistance Demonstration – Final Implementation, Revision 4.” NLIHC has updated its RAD “Key Features for Public Housing Residents” outline to incorporate many of the changes introduced by Supplement 4B. This article focuses on the resident engagement provisions. Additional provisions are highlighted in NLIHC’s “Summary of Key Features of RAD Supplement 4B.”
Congress created the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) in fiscal year (FY) 2012 as a demonstration to test whether public housing agencies (PHAs) could leverage Section 8 rental assistance contracts to raise private debt and equity in order to make public housing capital improvements and thereby preserve low-income housing. RAD Component One, which applies to public housing, initially allowed up to 60,000 public housing units to be converted from public housing capital and operating assistance to Section 8 Project-Based Vouchers (PBVs) or to Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA). Congress has increased the unit cap three times despite the absence of an evaluation of the impact of this “demonstration” on residents. The cap was raised in FY18 to 455,000 units. RAD is administered by HUD’s Office of Recapitalization (Recap).
Resident Engagement (starting on page six of the Notice)
Supplement 4B intends to improve information provided to residents and to increase resident engagement throughout the RAD conversion process. It also increases the minimum number of required resident meetings from four to five and provides clearer guidance regarding the potential need for additional resident meetings as the conversion process proceeds and development plans change.
Instead of a PHA simply notifying a “legitimate resident organization” of its intent to apply to HUD to convert a public housing property under RAD, Supplement 4B explicitly states the notification is to go to a “duly elected resident organization” as formally specified in 24 CFR Part 964 of the public housing regulations. NLIHC is concerned that this language has the potential to narrow a PHA’s resident notification obligation – some resident organizations may be “legitimate” yet not meet the strict Part 964 definition of “duly elected.” In addition, not all public housing developments have a resident organization of any sort; Supplement 4B does not address this potential problem. Supplement 4B encourages PHAs to partner with “resident leaders” to inform all residents of a public housing property planned for conversion.
The existing RAD Notice requires a PHA to provide residents with a RAD Information Notice (RIN) before applying to Recap for RAD approval. Supplement 4B adds text already required by the RAD Relocation Notice (Notice H-2016-17/PIH-2016-17), reducing the need for residents and advocates to juggle the two documents. The additional text requires the RIN to include a description of the conversion plans that will be discussed at upcoming resident meetings and a means for contacting HUD. RINs must be delivered to each unit or by U.S. mail to each head of household. RINs must also be posted in a conspicuous place at the converting project and must be available at the management office during normal business hours for residents and the general public to read and copy.
After a RIN is provided to residents, the existing RAD Notice requires a PHA to conduct at least two meetings with residents of a project slated for RAD conversion. Supplement 4B specifies the timing of these meetings: they must occur no less than one week after a RIN is issued and within the six months before a PHA submits a RAD application to Recap. Supplement 4B adds eight specific information items that must be presented to residents at the two meetings.
Supplement 4B adds a list of nine items that a PHA must submit to Recap along with its RAD application, such as a summary of residents’ questions and comments made at the meetings and submitted in writing, along with the PHA’s responses; a summary of who attended meetings, as shown on sign-in sheets or lists of registrants or participants on calls or online meetings; and a description of the PHA’s efforts to promote resident participation at meetings.
The existing RAD Notice requires a PHA to request a “Concept Call” with Recap before submitting a Financing Plan to show Recap that the RAD conversion plan has advanced to a point where Recap can review it. Supplement 4B requires a PHA to have two additional meetings with residents before it has a Concept Call with Recap. While the existing RAD Notice only required one such meeting, it also required one meeting before a PHA submitted its RAD Financing Plan; therefore, there is no net increase in the number of required resident meetings at this stage.
Supplement 4B adds text stating that these two meetings should be scheduled so as to provide meaningful updates to residents regarding the RAD application progress, and that residents should be able to provide input and raise questions or concerns at these meetings. Supplement 4B encourages PHAs to hold these meetings every three months and to provide written progress descriptions to residents before each meeting. A summary of residents’ questions and comments from these meetings, and the PHA’s responses to residents, must be submitted in the RAD Financing Plan. Additional resident meetings might be required by Recap after the Concept Call if HUD determines more meetings are needed to provide residents with up-to-date information.
After Recap has issued a RAD Conversion Commitment (RCC) and before project “closing,” Supplement 4B requires a PHA to hold an additional resident meeting. This is the fifth required resident meeting – a net addition of one meeting. Supplement 4B also adds a requirement for the PHA to provide residents access to or copies of the new lease form and any house rules.
Supplement 4B explicitly states that there are “required meetings” at which a PHA must discuss any “substantial change” to RAD conversion plans compared to key elements of the conversion plan from previous meetings. The required meetings are (1) the two meetings after a RIN is issued, (2) the two meetings after a PHA receives a “CHAP” (preliminary Recap approval of a RAD application) and before the Concept Call, and (3) the one meeting after Recap issues an RCC.
Supplement 4B adds a number of practices that a PHA must carry out to improve resident participation at meetings, such as providing adequate notice of meetings (“adequate” is not defined – Consolidated Plan regulations call for at least two weeks advance notice); conducting meetings in places that foster participation; considering timing of meetings (e.g., times of day and days of the week, including weekends) to encourage participation by residents who have a variety of schedules; and offering meetings in person, electronically (e.g., Zoom), and/or a hybrid of both. Supplement 4B explicitly states that PHAs may not restrict attendance at the meetings; some residents have reported that their PHAs denied access to non-residents capable of providing RAD technical assistance to residents.
Supplement 4B also includes some resident engagement changes for Faircloth-to-RAD projects. The “Faircloth limit” prohibits using public housing Capital or Operating funds to build or operate new public housing units if doing so would result in an increase in the number of public housing units a PHA owned, assisted, or operated as of October 1, 1999. In April 2021, HUD announced a new “Faircloth-to-RAD” option for PHAs to create deeply affordable homes (see NLIHC’s “Summary of Key Features of RAD Supplement 4B” for more about Supplement 4B’s changes to Faircloth-to-RAD).
Read Notice H-2023-08/PIH-2023-19, “Rental Assistance Demonstration – Supplemental Notice 4B,” at: https://tinyurl.com/47mtfhv6
NLIHC’s “Summary of Key Features of RAD Supplement 4B” contains highlights covering changes to Notice REV4 provisions pertaining to Faircloth-to-RAD, RAD/Section 18 Blends, climate resilience, Housing Quality Standards (HQS), RAD for PRACs, and Zero-HAP households.
Basic information about RAD that does not yet include changes made by Supplement 4B is on page 4-46 of NLIHC’s 2023 Advocates’ Guide.
Visit HUD’s RAD website at: https://www.hud.gov/RAD
Explore HUD’s resident-related RAD material at: https://www.hud.gov/RAD/residents