By Jai-Leen James, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez announced the conservation and transformation of public housing through the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program. The announcement came Sunday, August 26th at the South Miami Plaza Community Center.
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has approved a countywide portfolio application to transform public housing developments via its RAD program.
RAD allows public housing agencies to leverage public and private debt and equity in order to reinvest into public housing stock. As of now, public housing capital requires more than $35 billion.
“RAD is nothing short of a game changer for public, affordable and workforce housing in Miami-Dade County,” said Gimenez. “We are grateful that HUD has approved this innovative funding model for Miami-Dade to be able to accelerate and expand housing opportunities for our residents.”
RAD will preserve public housing properties by providing Miami-Dade’s Public Housing and Community Development with access to more stable funding for redevelopment or renovation of public housing properties. A total of 6,426 public housing units will be transformed under the RAD program.
Florida Public Housing Authorities have already converted 30 projects covering 3,547 housing units under the RAD program. Approximately 8,940 people have had their assisted housing secured and preserved for the long term on the Section 8 platform.
Under RAD, the physical condition of these properties will continue to improve. Additionally, the capital needs for the next 20 years will be accounted for, thus allowing these homes to remain affordable permanently.
These transactions have secured $93,264,112 in construction investment, equating to $26,294 per unit built or rehabbed. Through RAD, nearly 2,000 jobs have been created directly and indirectly in the state of Florida.
Currently, Florida ranks 33rd in the country in percentage of former public housing units that have been preserved.