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HUD   >   Program Offices   >   Public and Indian Housing   >   PIH   >   Special Applications Center (SAC)   >   Conversion: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Conversion: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What exactly are PHAs converting? Their public housing developments? Or the residents who live in those developments?

A: In this context, conversion means the removal of public housing developments (or portions of developments) from a PHA?s public housing inventory and ACC and the provision of tenant-based or project-based assistance for the residents who lived in those developments. Conversion does not require that the PHA convert the development to any particular future use after conversion.

Q: Are PHAs required to give tenant-based or project-based assistance to the residents of the developments that they are converting?

A: This is usually the case. PHAs are required to offer ?comparable housing? to the residents of the developments they are converting as part of its relocation process. PHAs will usually offer residents tenant-based or project-based assistance. This makes sense since the PHAs have shown (as part of the conversion application process) that the costs of providing residents with tenant-based assistance is less than the costs of providing residents with public housing in their units. This also makes sense since HUD will do its best to provide PHAs with tenant-protection vouchers for the families of the developments. However, PHAs are not automatically required to offer its residents tenant-based or project-based assistance and may choose to offer residents ACC units (in other developments in their inventories) as a relocation resource.

Q: Then what about the future use of the public housing property after a PHA converts the units from its public housing inventory? Is a PHA required to convert the property to any specific future use (like to project-based assistance)?

A: No. The conversion programs do not require a PHA to do anything specific with the development that it is proposing to convert from public housing. However, HUD will not approve a conversion plan unless the PHA describes in detail its planned future use of the property and HUD finds that proposed future use to be acceptable. Also, depending on the planned future use and the type of conversion, Section 18 disposition/demolition requirements may apply.

HUD encourages PHAs to explore all options so that they can determine the optimal future use of the development(s) they are planning to convert. In proposing a future use to HUD, PHAs should consider the physical condition of the developments as well as the economic and social conditions facing the PHA, its residents, and the community.

PHAs may propose to do a variety of things with the development after conversion, including:

  • demolish the development;
  • sell the property to a third party to use the property as low-income housing;
  • sell the property to a third party for another use; or
  • retain the property to use as low-income housing
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