Forming the Resident Advisory Board
The Resident Advisory Board (RAB) provides the PHA and the residents
with a forum for sharing information about the Agency?s Annual Plan.
Section 511 of the United States Housing Act and the regulations
in 24 CFR part 903 require that PHAs establish one or more Resident
Advisory Board(s) (RAB) as part of the PHA Plan process. RAB membership
is comprised of individuals who reflect and represent the residents
assisted by the PHA. The role of the RAB is to assist the PHA in
developing the PHA Plan and in making any significant amendment
or modification to the Plan.
is the role of the RAB?
The main role of the RAB is to make recommendations in the development
of the PHA Plan. In order to facilitate collaboration, PHAs should
encourage the RAB?s participation from the inception of the planning
process. PHAs are also required to request input from the RAB for
any significant amendment or modification to the PHA Plan.
should the RAB be appointed?
The RAB should be appointed well in advance of the date that the
PHA Plan is due to HUD to ensure effective resident participation
in the development of the plan.
can participate on the RAB?
If a jurisdiction-wide resident council is in place that complies
with tenant participation regulations at 24 CFR Part 964, the PHA
must appoint this group or its representatives as the Resident Advisory
Board. If the PHA does not have a jurisdiction-wide resident council,
then it should appoint resident councils or their representatives
to serve as one or more of the RABs. A PHA may require that the
resident councils choose a limited number of representatives to
serve as RAB members.
there are no resident councils that comply with the tenant participation
regulations, then the PHA must appoint one or more RABs or board
members as needed to adequately reflect and represent the residents
assisted by the PHA. The PHA should give adequate notice of its
intentions to the residents and encourage the residents to form
resident councils that comply with the tenant participation regulations.
PHAs have discretion in determining the method of appointment of
RABs, as long as a PHA ensures that its RAB or RABs reflect and
represent all the residents assisted by the PHA.
about Section 8 recipients?
Because Section 8 residents do not have resident councils, PHAs
with a significant sized tenant based assistance program must ensure
that Section 8 residents are adequately represented or that reasonable
efforts are made to secure their participation in the RAB. A significant
sized tenant based assistance program is one where at least 20 percent
of the total PHA?s households receive tenant-based assistance.
8-only PHAs are not exempt from the RAB requirement and must also
appoint one or more RABs that adequately represent the population
served. Given that there are no resident councils that comply with
the tenant-participation regulations under the tenant-based assistance
program, Section 8-only PHAs have discretion in the RAB appointment
process. Participation in a RAB is limited to residents that are
assisted under federally assisted public housing and the Section
8 tenant-based program.
many RABs are required?
PHAs that do not have a jurisdiction-wide RC have discretion to
determine the number of RABs that they may appoint. PHAs are required
to institute at least one RAB; the number of RABs beyond that number
will depend on the size and the complexity of the PHA or its developments.
In deciding the number of RABs to be established, a PHA should consider
how adequate representation of its entire resident population can
does the PHA fix the term of service?
There is no fixed term for membership on a RAB. A PHA has discretion
to establish its own policy regarding the duration of the appointments.
In determining the tenure to be adopted, PHAs may consider the number
of RABs and the number of residents who volunteered to serve. Greater
RAB participation may be realized by rotating residents? tenure.
if the PHA cannot establish a RAB?
If, after making all possible endeavors, a PHA is not successful
in establishing a RAB, it may appoint all of the agency?s assisted
residents as members of the RAB. The PHA must notify all of its
members that they have been appointed as members and inform them
of their role and responsibilities regarding the development of
the PHA Plan. The PHA must also provide residents with notification
of meetings (at least 48 hours in advance) and provide copies of
any materials for review.
Encouraging Participation in the RAB
who volunteer to be part of the RAB can be excellent partners to
the PHA during the development of the PHA Plan. Although PHAs are
expected to make a significant effort to ensure adequate resident
representation in the Resident Advisory Boards, securing participation
by residents during the planning process may pose a challenge for
can a PHA encourage residents to take advantage of the RAB opportunity?
Personal appeals are one strategy. Executive Directors may be
more likely to get commitments from residents if they personally
request their participation. Residents might also be hesitant to
volunteer to work with a Resident Advisory Board if they do not
really understand their role as a member of the RAB. The PHA provide
adequate information to all residents regarding the RAB. The PHA
should inform residents of the purpose and role of the RAB, as well
as practical information such as the time commitment required. The
PHA should make clear to residents and Section 8 participants that
the partnership between the residents and the PHA is of benefit
to both parties. The residents are provided with an opportunity
to voice their concerns so that their needs are addressed and they
can become involved in the planning process. The PHA also gains
essential information from the residents about the improvements
that need to be made at the agency?s developments and residents?
self-sufficiency needs. This information helps the PHA to set priorities
for capital improvements and advises resident services programming.
PHA?s Responsibility to the RAB
are the PHAs? Responsibilities?
PHAs have the responsibility to ensure that the RAB can adequately
serve its function including:
must give the RABs sufficient time to review and make recommendations
on the Plan. RABs will be able to contribute best if they are
provided with adequate information regarding the PHA?s programs
and the policies included in the Five-Year and Annual PHA Plan.
The PHAs should give RABs advance notice of meetings scheduled
to discuss areas of the Plan (generally, at least 48 hours, or
more depending on the meeting agenda).
RABs should also be provided with any existing documents that
would assist them to make productive recommendations during the
should provide the RABs with reasonable means to carry out their
functions such as making available a meeting place for discussing
programs with the residents. RABs should also have access to any
other communication tools such as a telephone, writing material,
or computers that may facilitate their contacts with other resident
households or to obtain further information on the programs.
what stage in the planning process must PHAs involve the RABs?
The role of the RABs is to assist and make recommendations regarding
the development of the PHA Plan and any significant amendments or
modifications to it. RABs should be involved in the planning process
as soon as it is feasible and must be given sufficient time to fully
participate in the process so that they can carry out their proper
role and provide representation that is meaningful and relevant
to the development of the Plan. The PHA and the RAB should develop
a reasonable timetable to promote participation, including adequate
notice of meetings. To facilitate productive meetings, PHAs may
do preliminary work prior to involving the RABs, such as gathering
and compiling data and materials to help residents participate in
the process, including some initial recommendations. A PHA must
consider the recommendations of the RABs and make revisions to drafts
or to the Plan which it deems appropriate.
Public Notice and Comment Period Requirements
PHA governing body is required to convene a public hearing to discuss
their Five-Year and/or Annual Plan and to prompt comments from the
public regarding their proposed activities. PHAs must consider,
in consultation with the RABs, all the comments received at the
are required to carry out the following steps at least forty-five
(45) days prior to the scheduled public hearing:
Publish a notice indicating that a public hearing to present the
Plan and further public comments will be held including time,
date and location. The notice should also indicate where the Plan
and pertaining documents will be available for their review. The
documents should be maintained at an accessible place such as
the PHA?s central office.
outreach activities to promote comprehensive participation in
the public hearing.
significant amendment or modification to the plan is subject to
the public hearing and RABs? assessment requirements.
Incorporating Comments into the Plan
are required to consider the RAB?s recommendations to the Plan but
are not required to agree with them. The recommendations received
must be submitted by the PHAs as a required attachment to the Plan.
PHAs must also include a narrative describing their analysis of
the recommendations and the decisions made on these recommendations.
It is prudent for PHAs to acknowledge those recommendations that
conform to the programs and the mission of the PHA. If the RABs
do not provide recommendations to the Plan, the PHA must document
that in the attached narrative.
Announcement of Membership of the RAB
must provide an attachment to the PHA Plan listing the members of
its Resident Advisory Board(s). If the number of participants is
too large to reasonably list, then the attachment should include
a list of the organizations represented on the RAB or other description
sufficient to identify how members were chosen.
RAB Notification of Plan Process
ensure that the RAB is fully engaged in the full plan process, PHAs
are required to promptly provide a copy of the HUD award letter
(identifying formula share allocations for Capital Fund and Drug
Elimination Programs), plan approval letter and at least one copy
of the approved plan to each RAB.