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Cityscape: Volume 23 Number 2 | The Rental Assistance Demonstration


The Rental Assistance Demonstration

Volume 23 Number 2

Mark D. Shroder
Michelle P. Matuga

Resident Engagement in the Context of the Rental Assistance Demonstration Program

Tiana Moore
Sarah Lazzeroni
Diana Hernández
Columbia University

Engaging residents in redevelopment efforts has become an oft-implemented requirement of many federal housing programs; however, the extent of resident participation in these efforts has varied. The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, a federal housing initiative developed to address extensive capital needs in public housing, centers resident engagement by requiring housing authorities to submit a formalized plan for engagement in the application process. The present study explores a California public housing authority’s efforts to create opportunities for residents to engage in planning, the barriers to engagement for residents, and the extent to which resident recommendations were incorporated in final redevelopment plans in the context of RAD. Overall, findings demonstrate that the local housing authority created opportunities to engage residents, but divergent expectations among local housing authority staff, other demands that residents had to balance, and lack of trust between stakeholders often hindered resident engagement. The study also explores recommendations for improved integration of residents’ voices in RAD conversion processes.

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