Public housing is at a crossroads. With a capital needs backlog of $26 billion and chronic funding shortfalls, we have already lost 150,000 units in the past 15 years. At the same time, with 7 million households paying more than half their income for housing, living in substandard housing, or both, the need for affordable housing is growing.
That’s why the Rental Assistance Demonstration is so important. This demonstration will allow housing authorities and owners to leverage private funding to address the capital needs of tens of thousands of publicly owned homes across the country – helping federal dollars go further in today’s tight budget environment. And today, HUD is pleased to announce the launch of the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) website – the best resource for background materials, authorizing legislation, and examples of the transformation that RAD promises for communities across the country. As a key feature of the Department’s rental housing preservation strategy, this demonstration will work to preserve our stock of deeply affordable rental housing, promote efficiency within and among HUD guidelines, and build strong, stable communities for the families that call public housing home.
To some of our stakeholders, RAD will sound familiar. That’s because most of the ability to leverage private capital has been available to every other form of affordable housing other than public housing for years – even decades.
In the coming months, we will update the RAD website with helpful information, the proposed program notice and application materials. We hope our stakeholders will visit the website and stay engaged in the program’s progress.