HUD Announces Historic RAD Deal with NYCHA
HUD recently announced a nearly $1 billion Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) transaction with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) that will enable major upgrades for more than 2,000 affordable rental units in the Bronx. This is the largest transaction to date under the RAD program. Through RAD, these homes will be converted to Project-Based Section 8 housing using a RAD/Section 18 Blend, a component of RAD that allows for higher levels of funding to directly support improvements to resident units.
How RAD works. RAD was designed to help address the multi-billion-dollar nationwide backlog of deferred maintenance in the public housing portfolio and to stem the loss of affordable housing that could no longer be kept to decent standards. From the program’s inception in 2012 through Jan. 1, 2023, the Rental Assistance Demonstration has facilitated more than $16 billion in capital investment to improve or replace nearly 193,000 deeply rent-assisted homes.
The program allows PHAs to switch the way they get money from the federal government, moving from Section 9, the way NYCHA-owned properties have historically been funded, to Section 8 rental assistance. The buildings converting through RAD will still be owned by NYCHA but private firms will operate and manage them via long-term leases.
Effect on residents. Under Section 8, residents continue to pay 30 percent of their income towards rent and the housing must continue to serve those with very low and extremely low incomes, as was the case when the property was assisted through the public housing program. Residents must be notified and consulted prior to conversion, and they’re given a right to return to assisted housing post-construction so that the same tenants can enjoy these newly preserved and improved apartments and maintain the same fundamental rights they had as public housing residents.
NYCHA conversion plan. The RAD conversion will support the rehabilitation of the site’s 40 residential buildings with updated features and amenities. In addition to repairs to the building exterior, the project will include upgraded kitchens, bathrooms, heating and cooling systems, and mechanical systems, while also addressing lead and asbestos hazards.
Energy efficiency is a key component of the renovation plans, which will be achieved through new energy-efficient windows, electric panels, LED lights, and resilient flooring throughout each home. The project will also include onsite amenities such as a fully renovated senior center, new laundry facilities, improved waste management, free wireless internet, outdoor green spaces, security, and the development and implementation of a social services program.