Rental Assistance Demonstration

In October 2013 Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) submitted applications to HUD for nine of its public housing properties (RAD Phase 1) to be considered for conversion to HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program. RAD conversion offers CHA needed flexibility to protect its affordable housing stock and financially stabilize CHA’s properties in the face of substantial and continued cuts to HUD’s Federal Public Housing Programs.

HUD approved CHA’s RAD applications in December 2014. CHA is now moving forward with conversion of the Phase 1 properties and the coordination of many required components to accomplishing this changeover.

What is RAD?
The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) is a HUD demonstration program that combines public housing operating and capital subsidy into payments under a RAD Section 8 Project-Based Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract. CHA has used its flexibility under the Moving to Work Demonstration Program to make the conversion feasible.

What are the benefits of RAD conversion?
The switch from the public housing to the RAD Section 8 Project-Based subsidy program will allow CHA to tap resources that don’t exist, or would not work in traditional public housing. CHA’s MTW flexibility combined with RAD attracts significant private funding, the ability to take on mortgages and the use of tax credits. With this boost of private funds, CHA plans to renovate and restore the majority of its properties, some of which have been in long disrepair, keeping them viable and most importantly affordable.

How will RAD impact CHA’s current residents?
CHA is committed to keeping the same operational rules, rent structure and tenant rights that are in place now. Residents should feel very little day-to-day impact in how CHA manages its properties.

As of November 1, residents signed a new lease, preserving current tenant rights and protections after the RAD conversion. CHA’s Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy and Administrative Plan will also be retained and are being updated to reflect any needed adjustments under RAD conversion. In addition, CHA will have a RAD use agreement, long-term ground leases, deed restrictions and other recorded restrictions to ensure stability and to keep these properties affordable for generations to come.

On conversion, some properties will become tax-credit properties. When Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) are used to finance major construction at a site, the property becomes subject to LIHTC rules, which include additional income certifications and inspections.

How will RAD impact new applicants and those currently on CHA’s waitlists?
As of January 1, 2015, CHA has stopped accepting new applicants to its Family and Elderly/Disabled waitlists. Because of the  revitalization and modernization work which is ongoing throughout CHA's portfolio, several sites will require households to move out temporarily while the properties undergo renovation. In order to provide apartments for temporary relocation, CHA will need to hold vacant units. On April 23, 2015 a letter was sent to all active public housing applicants (Family Public Housing and Elderly/Disabled Public Housing) to inform them of the extended wait times projected to complete RAD construction.

Will current residents have to move because of RAD?
No resident will lose their home because of RAD conversion.  Residents are guaranteed that they will not be displaced because of RAD. Some households will be relocated temporarily to complete major construction work at some sites. Each proposed construction project requires a detailed resident participation process including a resident relocation plan that spells out every detail of these temporary moves, including CHA’s responsibilities to each household and a guarantee of return to the property upon completion of work. As of April 15, 2015, relocation is underway at Putnam Gardens, Newtowne Court and Manning Apartments.

Follow the link here for more information about CHA's current construction projects.