Within the last year, the Lake County Housing Authority (LCHA) has worked diligently on looking to transition part of LCHA's public housing portfolio to HCV project based units through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Program. RAD is a central part of HUD's rental housing preservation strategy, which works to preserve the nation's stock of deeply affordable rental housing, promote efficiency without and among HUD programs, and build strong, stable communities. This unique program that will allow LCHA to leverage selected public housing units and allow the agency to set its own path for needed repairs.
Recently, LCHA learned that it had received acceptance of its competitive application from HUD to move forward with this new and exciting program. Through this acceptance, LCHA will be able to utilize the RAD program and its proven financing tools to apply to its at-risk public and assisted housing units as authorized by the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-55). This authorization allows Public Housing and Moderate Rehabilitation (Mod Rehab) properties to convert, to long-term Housing Choice Voucher/Section 8 project-based vouchers. LCHA Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, David A. Northern, Sr. stated that "as we move closer to accomplishing our agency's long-term goals, being awarded RAD allows us flexibility and financial resources necessary to preserve our affordable housing inventory."
A primary provision of RAD is to provide Housing Authorities with access to debt financing to address a particular property's immediate and long-term capital needs through rehabilitation. To qualify, Housing Authorities must not only make timely application but also nominate properties that meet both HUD program admission and lender underwriting criteria. LCHA applied to utilize its 161 single family home properties in it's with its Low Rent program.
The RAD program is intended to test whether conversion of public housing properties and other HUD assisted properties to project-based Section 8 rental assistance will allow the owners of these properties to access private debt and equity to address the properties' immediate and long-term capital needs. Since RAD is a pilot program, careful review has been performed to determine which of LCHA's properties are best suited to participate in the program.
While there are various milestones yet to be accomplished, the CHAP (Commitment to Enter a Housing Assistance Payment) provides a tremendous opportunity for improvement in the quality of public housing that is available in Lake County, Illinois.
Lake County Housing Authority is committed to providing affordable, safe, and sanitary housing for the residents of Lake County. For more information about LCHA, go to: www.lakecountyha.org