Evaluation of the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) - Early Findings on Choice Mobility Implementation
The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), authorized by Congress in 2012, allows Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) to convert their public housing properties to either Project-Based Vouchers (PBVs) or to Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) Section 8 contracts, to help address properties’ short-term capital needs and preserve their long-term viability. RAD residents have a right called choice mobility, which allows them to request tenant-based rental assistance after living on the RAD property for a minimum period of time. This report assesses the implementation and usage of choice mobility through interviews with a small number of PHAs, property owners, and residents. The report is part of a larger evaluation of RAD that will assess the implementation and impact of choice mobility, the long-term preservation and financial viability of converted properties, the adequacy of asset management for RAD conversions, and PHA organizational change. PHAs reported a low number of choice mobility requests and usage and attributed it to the quality of the newly renovated properties and tight rental markets. Residents also cited the quality of their current RAD units, housing market challenges, and mobility limitations as disincentives to moving. The final report of the RAD evaluation, which includes surveys of PHAs, residents, and property owners and operators, will provide additional information about the implementation and outcomes of the choice mobility option to supplement findings identified in this report.