Minnesota Public Radio Features MPHA’s Move to Rehab Twin High-Rises with RAD

Date Published: 
August 8th, 2019

“Our mission is quality, well-maintained homes for people of limited means, and we are doing everything we can to make sure folks know that we're not wavering from that mission,” said Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) Interim Executive Director/CEO Tracey Scott in an interview with MPR, Minnesota’s public radio station.

The story, which was posted online and broadcast on July 30, explores MPHA’s use of the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program to finance the rehabilitation of the Elliot Twins high-rise apartments and address MPHA’s capital needs. In addition to quotes from residents eager for community improvements that will be made possible with RAD, the story includes validation for the program from Matt Murphy of NYU’s Furman Center and the National Housing Law Project’s Deborah Thrope who said, “[RAD] is the only game in town right now for the rehabilitation and preservation of this housing. That is absolutely true.”

St. Paul Public Housing Agency Executive Director Jon Gutzmann was asked about SPPHA’s use of RAD to eventually convert most of their 4,300 housing units. "We are simply doing [RAD] to lock in better money," said Gutzmann. "We are going to have it locked in place for 20 years, and it will get inflation adjustments — something public housing has never seen."

According to Scott, “It absolutely is transformative. It’s really one of the few things left with [the Department of Housing and Urban Development] that allows us to get more funding.” The Elliot Twins’ $22 million rehab is expected to start next year.

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