Vice President for Housing Policy
Tens of thousands of children whose families can afford decent housing by living in public housing live in extremely poor neighborhoods, as I explained yesterday. But policymakers can take steps to improve these kids’ access to safer neighborhoods with better schools.
Congress has underfunded maintenance and repair of public housing for decades, causing a substantial loss in the number of units available as projects deteriorate. The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) aims to preserve — and, if necessary, rebuild — distressed rental units. By shifting money from the public housing funding streams to long-term “Section 8” funding contracts, RAD makes it easier to leverage private investment to rehabilitate and preserve public housing developments.
By making two changes to RAD, policymakers could help give low-income children longer-term access to better neighborhoods, and at the same time improve the living conditions for families that choose to stay in their current homes.