Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Program Overview
The Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County (HOC) is embarking on an exciting new program for those residents currently living in our multifamily and clustered Public Housing homes. The agency is applying to participate in the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Program in order to access private funding for the purpose of rehabilitating the units.
In September 2013, HOC began conducting a series of informational meetings to help its multi-family and clustered Public Housing residents to better understand HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Program. At these meetings, HOC relays important information about the program, the process, and its impact on residents.
We invite you to learn more about the RAD program and how it benefits residents currently living in HOC’s multifamily and clustered Public Housing homes.
- RAD is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program, authorized by Congress that allows Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) to convert their Public Housing units to Project-Based Section 8 vouchers (PBVs) or Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA).
- RAD is a central part of HUD's rental housing preservation strategy, which works to preserve the nation's stock of deeply affordable rental housing.
- RAD allows PHAs to take full ownership of their public housing units and to renovate or redevelop the housing using private sources of financing.
- The renovated or new housing receives rental support for the residents in the form of a Project-Based Section 8 subsidy.
Why is HOC planning to participate in RAD?
- The average age of HOC’s multi-family buildings is 36 years old.
- Many repairs to our buildings have not been completed because there is inadequate funding from HUD.
- Project-Based Section 8 subsidy is far safer from budget cuts and better funded than Public Housing subsidy.
- RAD will allow HOC to access funding from sources in addition to those from HUD to complete repairs and renovations that will greatly improve the living conditions of our cluster and multi-family Public Housing building residents.
- Funding can be used to for renovations or new construction that will greatly improve the living conditions of our multi-family building residents.
What does RAD mean for the Public Housing Families residing on HOC's cluster and multi-family sites?
- All existing units will be renovated or replaced by new units.
- Renovated and new units will all continue to serve as affordable housing.
- For nearly all residents, rent will be established just as it is now.
- The Project-Based Section 8 subsidy will allow families to remain in newly improved or brand new HOC housing.
- The subsidy is tied to the unit. The Project-Based voucher cannot be ported to another PHA.
- There is no initial requalification or rescreening as part of the conversion.
- HOC will provide individual counseling for all residents who request it.
How will the Public Housing families residing on HOC’s cluster and multi-family sites benefit from RAD?
- The interiors and exteriors of the communities will be rehabilitated without residents having to pay more rent or to complete additional applications/certifications.
- If applicable, all new units will be constructed to a high-quality standard, easily accessible to public transportation, and they will be located in geographically appealing areas.
- Utility bills should be lower as a result of more energy efficient windows, heating and air conditioning systems, and Energy Star appliances.
How will the process work?
- HOC will conduct two pre-application resident meetings.
- HOC will record and post answers to all tenant questions prior to submission of these applications.
- HUD reviews the applications to determine if HOC’s plans are reasonable and the goals achievable.
- HUD grants preliminary awards within 30 days of submittal of the application.
- One post-award resident meeting is required.
- HOC will communicate with residents and the Resident Advisory Board (RAB) throughout the process.
What are the next steps?
- Each community will have its own timeline and plan tailored specifically to that community’s needs.
- Within 180 days of the application approval date, HOC will provide residents a firm timeline for start of renovation or start of construction of new building.
1. What is the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program?
RAD is a pilot program that will allow Public Housing Authorities to convert their Public Housing properties to long term Project-Based Section 8 subsidy properties. RAD is a central part of HUD's rental housing preservation strategy, which works to preserve the nation's stock of deeply affordable rental housing.
2. When will the RAD process begin?
This is contingent upon HUD’s approval of our applications. Expectations are for an October 2013 approval to begin conducting a feasibility analysis on the units that are affected by RAD.
3. Will the residents receive notification when HUD approves HOC’s RAD applications?
Yes. All residents will be notified, in a formal meeting, within 30 days of approval of the application related to their community.
4. How long will it take to complete the conversion to Project-Based Section 8 subsidy?
Each community will have a different plan tailored specifically to its physical needs. HUD provides 180 days from approval of an application to formalize a plan. Most of HOC’s communities would begin conversion within that 180-day period.
5. Will I have to recertify twice because I am in Public Housing and will receive a Project-Based Voucher (PBV)?
No, initial certification is required as part of the conversion. Only lease compliance is assessed.
6. What is a Project-Based subsidy?
The Project-Based subsidy provides low- and moderate-income households with monthly rental assistance. However, Project-Based subsidy assistance is tied to particular units rather than to the tenants.
7. Since there is no “flat rent” in the voucher program, what happens if we exceed the income guidelines?
HOC will make individual counseling available throughout the process to help current residents navigate this and other issues. HOC is committed to providing a private environment within which residents can assess their housing affordable opportunities. However, for current residents that are otherwise qualified for Public Housing, those residents will be able to convert to Project-Based subsidy.
8. I am also in the FSS program – will I still be able to participate in the program?
Subsidy for the FSS program can be converted to be compatible with Project-Based Section 8 subsidies received through the RAD process. HOC will make individual counseling available throughout the process to help current residents navigate this and other issues. HOC is committed to providing a private environment within which residents can assess their housing opportunities.
9. Who will own the unit that I reside in? Will the rent still be paid to HOC?
Ownership depends on the source of funding for the rehabilitation. In all cases, HOC will maintain either a controlling interest or managing membership in the ownership of the property. Rent will be paid to HOC.
10. What will the rents be?
For nearly all tenants, you will still pay 30% of your adjusted income to rent, less an allowance for tenant paid utilities.
11. Are utilities included in the rent?
You are still responsible for payment of the same utilities you currently pay. The portion of rent paid under the Project-Based subsidy program is adjusted to reflect tenant-paid utilities.
12. What happens if I am over housed?
A plan for each property will be developed during the 180-day period following application approval. HOC will make individual counseling available throughout the process to help current residents navigate these and other issues. HOC is committed to providing a private environment for staff and residents to assess affordable housing opportunities.
13. Do I still have to do community service?
14. I want to stay in my unit. Will I have to move?
Nearly all residents will be able to remain in their current unit. HOC is committed to helping residents who wish to remain in their current residences to do so. There may be opportunities for voluntary relocation, and HOC Staff will present these options as we move forward through the RAD process.
15. What happens if HUD does not approve the application? Will you still fix my unit?
HOC will work to identify other funding sources to meet the physical needs of its managed properties.
16. Who should I contact for additional information pertaining to RAD?