TenantsTips / USA / How Does RAD affect Rental Housing?

How Does RAD affect Rental Housing?

There are thousands of laws and guidelines pertaining to renting property in California, but there are a few that are particularly important for renters to understand. Many of these laws are covered under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act.

The U.S. government has an array of available programs to help low-income individuals secure safe, affordable housing. In addition, there are supplementary programs available to people throughout the country, one of which is the Rental Assistance Demonstration, or RAD, which is a program provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The program is entirely voluntary, and ultimately the goal is to provide Public Housing Agencies with increased access to the funding they need to improve low-income properties.

According to statistics released by HUD, rental properties that are classified as public housing require over $26 billion in repairs, and this funding isn’t allotted from Congress to keep up with current needs. In many circumstances, when there isn’t money for the necessary repairs, the properties, which are greatly needed in communities throughout the country, are simply demolished.

The RAD program is a way for public housing units to be repaired or rehabilitated, without more money being allocated from Congress.

HUD encourages residents to work with their Public Housing Agency to bring the benefits of RAD to their rental property, as well as during the conversion process. Before a property can become a participant of the RAD program, it’s required that the Public Housing Agency in charge of the property do several things, including:


  • Notify all residents that a conversion will be taking place
  • Conduct a minimum of two meetings with the residents of the property, during which the residents can learn about the proposed plans, ask questions, voice their concerns and provide their own comments about the process. After the meeting, the Public Housing Agency is required to submit the comments as part of their application for RAD.
  • After a property is selected to participate in the RAD program, the Public Housing Agency is then required to have another meeting with all of the property’s residents, before a final conversion can be approved by HUD.


If residents live in a property that is going to undergo repairs or a conversion as a result of RAD funding, in most cases they will not be required to move during construction. Most repairs are minimal in scale, and renters wouldn’t find it difficult to remain in their home during this time. However, if a resident lives in an apartment or building that needs a larger scale rehabilitation, they may be required to temporarily relocate, which is sanctioned under the Uniform Relocation Act (URA).


Renters in public housing properties that are required to temporarily move under this Act have the right to return to their home after construction. A temporary relocation, under RAD, will generally not exceed 12 months.

If a resident lives in a property that is deemed too old or too damaged, beyond the point of repair or rehabilitation, they will be provided with temporary housing, and then will have the right to move to the newly built replacement housing after construction is completed.

HUD emphasizes to renters in public housing units that RAD conversions should have minimal impact on the processes and rights they are granted under public housing. For example, some rights residents of public housing enjoy include the ability to request a grievance process, and the timeliness for termination notification. When HUD begins the construction process under RAD, the residents also have the right to organize and all resident organizations can still receive resident participation funds.

As well as providing better quality properties, HUD hopes the RAD program will also give renters who use public housing options the opportunity to exercise more choice in where they’ll live. For example, if a resident would like to move to another development after a RAD conversion is complete, they can request a Housing Choice Voucher.


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