Evaluation of HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Summary: Interim Report
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and public housing authorities (PHAs) have long struggled to maintain the country’s 1.1 million public housing units. In 2010, a study prepared for HUD estimated the backlog of public housing capital needs to be approximately $26 billion, with each subsequent year accruing an additional $3.4 billion in unmet capital needs. Congress authorized the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) in 2012 to test a new way of meeting this substantial funding challenge. RAD authorizes PHAs to convert public housing properties to project-based Section 8 contracts, which is expected to provide a more stable, long-term funding stream and to make it easier for PHAs to leverage additional funding sources. New research released by HUD examines how the RAD program has performed to date. The interim report of the RAD evaluation (released September 2016) is the first independent assessment of RAD and completes the first phase of the evaluation mandated by Congress in its authorization of RAD. The report provides evidence that the program is on track to accomplish its primary goal of attracting substantial new capital and stabilizing the physical and financial condition of federally assisted housing properties.