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What is the RAD program?

If you are a resident of public housing, you have likely heard of the RAD program. But, what does it mean and how does it affect current tenants? We break it down below.

It’s no secret that public housing in the country is limited. With the increase of high-income renters, a narrow housing supply and a competitive market, low-cost rental housing has severely declined over the past few decades. As an opportunity to invest money into properties at risk of being lost from the nation's affordable housing inventory, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) created the RAD program. 

RAD stands for “Rental Assistance Demonstration,” and is meant to address living conditions in public housing by allowing agencies like Memphis Housing Authority to upgrade units and make them more suitable for residents and investors. We address some of the most frequently asked questions about the RAD program below.

Will RAD affect my rental assistance?

Residents of public housing participating in RAD are guaranteed the right to housing assistance. No public housing resident can be displaced involuntarily or made to pay an unaffordable rent. If you have to relocate due to repairs, MHA will relocate you to a temporary residence until the repairs are complete.

Will RAD repairs make my rent go up?

Most residents will not have rent increases because of RAD. In public housing, residents pay 30% of their income toward rent and utilities. Rent will increase if a resident’s income increases and decrease if their income decreases. 

If you pay a “flat rent” in public housing, under RAD, your rent will transition to 30% of your income. New rent may be phased in over three to five years, meaning that you will pay a little more each year until you are paying 30% of your adjusted income toward rent. 

Will I have to move?

Most RAD repairs allow you to stay in your home during construction. However, some apartments and buildings need more extensive repairs and require residents to move out during construction. In these cases, MHA will temporarily relocate tenants, and they will have the right to return to the property once construction is completed.

If you’d like to learn more about the RAD program, including relocation services, visit this link