NLIHC and NHLP Send Letter Opposing Lifting Cap on RAD Conversions to Congressional Appropriators

NLIHC and the National Housing Law Project (NHLP) sent a letter to leaders of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives Subcommittees on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) opposing a provision in the Senate’s fiscal year (FY) 2023 appropriations bill that would remove the 455,000-unit cap on the number of public housing units eligible for conversion under the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD). When RAD was established by the FY12 appropriations act, the demonstration limited to 60,000 the number of public housing units that could convert to either Project-Based Vouchers (PBVs) or Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA). Since then, successive appropriations acts have increased the cap without a serious evaluation of the demonstration’s impact on residents, as required by the original appropriations act.

HUD requirements include a number of resident protections that were sought by many of the resident leaders convened by HUD during the RAD drafting process. These protections include opportunities for residents to comment on proposed RAD conversion plans; the one-for-one replacement of former public housing units; the prohibition of permanent, involuntary resident displacement; the right to return to a property after renovation or new construction; the prohibition of resident rescreening upon return; a rule permitting eviction only for “good cause”; continuation of $25 per occupied units for tenant participation; and the right to have resident organizations and the right to organize. However, despite these resident involvement and protection provisions, residents have told HUD that some public housing agencies, developers, and HUD itself are not complying with or enforcing resident protection provisions.

NLIHC and NHLP support RAD and its intended goals of preserving affordable housing and addressing the backlog of public housing capital needs, estimated at more than $70 billion. However, the lifting of the cap should only be considered after a rigorous evaluation of RAD’s impact on residents, the inclusion of additional protections for residents in further legislation, and greater HUD oversight and enforcement.

Read the NLIHC/NHLP letter at:

Read more about RAD on page 4-42 of NLIHC’s 2022 Advocates’ Guide and on NLIHC’s public housing webpage