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HUD announces the official launch of RAD

HUD's Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) has officially launched.  According to the press release:

In the near term, RAD is expected to preserve and enhance more than 13,000 units of affordable housing and generate more than $650 million in private capital to address the estimated $26 billion backlog in capital needs faced by public housing authorities in the United States. This additional capital will also stimulate employment in the construction trades across the country.

“This innovative and cost-effective approach greatly enhances our ability to confront the decline of our public housing and older assisted housing stock,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “With the initial implementation of RAD, the Obama administration has begun to demonstrate that public-private partnership can help preserve our nation’s affordable housing and create jobs in the process.”

HUD awarded 112 initial commitments to 68 public housing authorities (PHAs), allowing these local housing agencies to seek private financing to rehabilitate units that are otherwise at risk of being lost from the affordable housing inventory. In addition, HUD approved 11 requests from private owners of assisted housing projects to convert and extend rental assistance contracts for 1,100 units. . . . Combined, the commitments announced today are projected to preserve more than 13,000 public and other HUD-assisted housing units for the next 20 years.