Still Transforming Rental Assistance

HUD, in light of a recent capital needs study, will conduct a “rental assistance demonstration” rather than complete programmatic implementation of its Preserving, Enhancing, and Transforming Rental Assistance plan, which was first announced in February 2010 (see SF Summer 2010). The $350 million package would have allowed the borrowing of private capital to improve and preserve public and private HUD-assisted housing. In late 2010, Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota introduced the Rental Housing Revitalization Act (RHRA), which contained many elements of PETRA while trying to address advocates’ concerns about it. While it’s hard to imagine RHRA gaining traction in this Congress, HUD hopes its scaled-down demonstration effort could follow the PETRA model, preserving as many as 263,000 units by converting them to project-based assistance and bringing in private debt to address capital needs.

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