On September 21, HUD released an interim report, conducted by Econometrica Inc., that examines how the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program is performing. According to the report, by October 2015, public housing agencies (PHAs) that participated in the program successfully generated $2.5 billion in new investment to preserve and improve the public housing stock, leveraging $9 in capital for every $1 of public housing funds. In HUD’s press release, Secretary Castro noted that “[t]he early returns are in and RAD is proving itself to be an exciting new tool that allows us to ensure safe, quality housing for low-income Americans. As we continue to evaluate this demonstration, it’s already clear that RAD is helping to preserve an important piece of our nation’s affordable housing stock.”
NAHRO is pleased to see the success of RAD program in helping PHAs leverage needed dollars. However, more administrative capacity is required from HUD to ensure successful, streamlined RAD transactions.
RAD is not a panacea to fix our public housing properties. Although it works for some PHAs, it will not work all PHAs. It is imperative that policymakers renew their commitment to adequate funding for the program, and RAD remains just one tool that PHAs can use to modernize their public housing units.
HUD’s press release can be found here.