Letter of Support - House

September 14, 2011

- Transmitted by Email -

 

 

Representative Harold Rogers, Chairman

Committee on Appropriations

U. S. House of Representatives

H-307 Capitol Building

Washington, DC 20515

 

Representative Norman Dicks, Ranking Member

Committee on Appropriations

U. S. House of Representatives

H-307 Capitol Building

Washington, DC 20515

 

Representative Spencer Bachus, Chairman

Committee on Financial Services

U. S. House of Representatives

2129 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

Representative Barney Frank, Ranking Member

Committee on Financial Services

U. S. House of Representatives

2129 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Chairmen and Ranking Members:

The undersigned organizations are writing in support of the attached draft legislative proposal which would authorize a program to test the conversion of units assisted under public housing to project-based Section 8 subsidies.  The draft was prepared by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) at the request of various members of Congress. We strongly urge you to support including this proposal in any appropriate authorizing bill or in the fiscal year 2012 HUD appropriations bill.

For the past several months, HUD has worked with public and affordable housing stakeholders to design this “Rental Assistance Demonstration” (RAD) program and to draft legislation authorizing the program. The RAD demonstration would allow conversions to be tested on a limited scale, so they can be evaluated and the results can inform Congressional consideration of implementing public housing conversions more broadly.

A recent HUD study on the capital needs of public housing shows that more than $26 billion in unmet capital needs exist in public housing.  Despite the yearly federal allocation to the Public Housing Capital Fund, this backlog has persisted for many years simply because the federal expenditures have not kept pace with the modernization, rehabilitation and recapitalization needs in public housing.  Given the current budget environment, it is also not likely that federal expenditures alone will ever be sufficient to meet the need.

Conversion of some public housing developments to Section 8 assistance offers a cost-effective, market-based way to address capital needs in public housing, because it would better enable housing authorities to leverage private investment to renovate and preserve developments.  While RAD will primarily focus on public housing conversions, owners of Moderate Rehabilitation and Rent Supplement/Rental Assistance properties, which currently lack a viable renewal option and are at risk of being lost from the affordable housing inventory as a result, will also be eligible for assistance under this legislation. 

The RAD legislative proposal is attached.  We urge you to include this legislation in the FY2012 THUD appropriations bill to help enable PHAs to preserve our public housing stock and increase the supply of housing affordable to very low-income households.  Thank you for considering this request. We look forward to working with you on this important issue. 

 

Sincerely,

 

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Council of Large Public Housing Authorities

Enterprise Community Partners

Local Initiatives Support Corporation

National Housing and Rehabilitation Association

National Leased Housing Association

National Low Income Housing Coalition

Poverty & Race Research Action Council

Rod Solomon, Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP

Stephen I. Holmquist, Reno & Cavanaugh, PLLC

Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future

 

 


 

cc:

Members, U. S. House of Representatives, Committee on Appropriations

Members, U. S. House of Representatives, Committee on Financial Services

Secretary Shaun Donovan, U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

NOTE: UPDATED September 16 to include Stephen I. Holmquist, Reno & Cavanaugh, PLLC