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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

The Rental Assistance Demonstration

Nathan Bossie
Paul Joice
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not represent the official positions or policies of the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), or the U.S. Government.

The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) was authorized by Congress in 2012 to stem the potential loss of public housing and other subsidized housing units due to the growing backlog of unfunded capital needs. The program converts public housing properties to project-based Section 8 contracts—either project-based vouchers (PBV) or project-based rental assistance (PBRA)—with the expectation that this will provide a more predictable long-term annual funding stream. This should, in turn, allow PHAs to leverage external sources of capital to pay for rehabilitation costs and/or to create capital reserves to ensure that a property remains financially and physically viable. By preserving these affordable housing units, RAD ensures affordable housing units can continue to house assisted families in the future. A central component of RAD is that the conversions should not only benefit future assisted families but also the current residents of buildings undergoing RAD conversion. The program provides residents with rights, including the right to return after rehabilitation and the right to a choice-mobility voucher after living in a converted property.

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