EHA Finalizing Public Housing Conversion to Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Program

EVANSVILLE, Ind. ~ The Evansville Housing Authority (EHA) is scheduled to sign documents on March 31 that will finalize Phase 1 of EHA’s conversion to a new business model for operating and funding its public housing properties. The new business model, called the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, will create a public/private partnership that is approved and regulated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The use of low-income tax credits and private funding means that EHA will no longer depend exclusively on federal funding to sustain its properties, says Rick Moore, EHA Executive Director. “With conversion to the RAD program, we’ll be operating on a more stable platform,” Moore notes. “And that financial stability will put us in a much better position to keep our assisted housing developments updated and in proper repair for years to come.”

Evansville is the first housing authority in Indiana – and one of the first in the United States – to be chosen by HUD to launch a new RAD conversion program. The first phase of the conversion – scheduled to take effect on April 1 – will mark the beginning of $18.2 million in much-needed construction repairs while rehabilitating 559 EHA apartments.  EHA’s approval for a portfolio-wide RAD conversion will require a second phase of renovations to convert the remaining 329 units of public housing to the RAD platform, an estimated $13.5 million in additional improvements.

Residents Kept Informed
EHA is in the process of conducting site meetings with residents to update them on the recent approvals and paperwork that will be finalized on March 31. Since early in the RAD application process that began in 2013, EHA has kept residents informed about what the change would mean to them. Tim Martin, Director of Operations, says residents have been continually informed through quarterly newsletters, Resident Council meetings and one-on-one interaction – always with the goal of assuring them they will have the right to return to housing in the same development while receiving full professional and personal support throughout the transition. Residents are now looking forward to enjoying high quality housing that will be operated and maintained at levels they can be proud of now and in future generations.

Housing Improvements to Begin April 1
On April 1, preparations will begin for installation of new plumbing and HVAC systems, as well as other repairs and cosmetic updates as needed on the following RAD Phase 1 housing developments: Kennedy Towers, Buckner Towers, White Oak Towers, Schnute Towers and Caldwell Homes.

During renovations, relocation coordinators will assist each resident prior to and throughout the moving process. The relocations are a “no injury” process, meaning EHA and its partners are responsible for moving residents at no cost to them. All packing materials will be provided.  Once belongings are packed, residents will be moved to fully renovated units within the same property.

Phase 1 improvements are expected to be completed by December 31, 2016.

“We could not be more excited and proud to be a part of this new model for public housing,” Moore states. “There’s so much optimism about the resources available to move EHA services forward now and far into the future. From here, we’ll continue to create partnerships that will help EHA better serve families and individuals in the community for many years to come. The need for housing will remain and EHA is on the path to becoming the assisted housing provider of choice in Evansville.”