Otto Merida Desert Villas: Otto Merida Desert Villas is one of our Rental Assistance Demonstration Housing
Rental Assistance Demonstration Housing Program
The Rental Assistance Demonstration, otherwise known as RAD, was created in order to give public housing
authorities (PHAs) a powerful tool to preserve and improve public housing properties and address the $26
billion dollar nationwide backlog of deferred maintenance. RAD also gives owners of three HUD "legacy"
program (Rent Supplement, Rental Assistance Payment, and Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation) the opportunity
to enter into long-term contracts that facilitate the financing of improvements.
Five Things You Should Know About Public Housing Conversions
RAD allows public housing agencies to leverage public and private debt and equity in order to reinvest
in the public housing stock. This is critical given the backlog of public housing capital needs -
estimated at over $35 billion.
In RAD, units move to a Section 8 platform with a long-term contract that, by law, must be renewed in
perpetuity. A Use Agreement is also recorded under RAD further enforcing HUD’s long-term interest. This
ensures that the units remain permanently affordable to low-income households.
Residents benefit from a right of return, a prohibition against re-screening, and robust notification
and relocation rights. Residents continue to pay 30% of their adjusted income towards the rent, maintain
the same basic rights as they possess in the public housing program, and gain a new option to request
tenant-based assistance if they wish to subsequently move from the property.
RAD maintains the ongoing public stewardship of the converted property through clear rules requiring
ongoing ownership or control by a public or non-profit entity.
RAD is highly cost-effective, relying on shifting existing levels of public housing funds to the
Section 8 accounts as properties convert.
These are Project Based Voucher-Rental Assistance Demonstration Properties where residents use the Section 8
platform (Housing Choice Vouchers) to move in to the units at these properties.