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Lee Jones
(206) 220-5356 (work)
(804) 363-7018 (cell)
FOR RELEASE
Tuesday
July 16, 2013

YAKIMA APARTMENT COMPLEX OKAYED TO MAINTAIN AFFORDABILITY THROUGH CONTINUED HUD RENTAL ASSISTANCE

SEATTLE - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has approved a request by the owner of The Central Villa Apartments at 1004 South 3rd Avenue in Yakima to convert 25 of its units for participation in a groundbreaking HUD initiative to preserve and upgrade the affordable housing inventory through HUD's new Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) initiative.

Central Villa received HUD Rent Supplement funding since 1972 in return for which it maintained rents at levels affordable to low-income families. However, its Rent Supplement agreement with HUD was set to expire on August 31st at which time, by statute, the complex would no longer receive rent supplement funding to provide affordable housing to the community. With Congressional approval in 2011 of HUD's RAD initiative included a provision allowing Rent Supplement complexes like Central Villa to continue receiving HUD rent subsidies in return for maintaining the long-term affordability of its units.

Under RAD, Central Villa has been approved to convert its 25 Rent Supplement units to to long-term project-based vouchers administered by the Yakima Housing Authority. The complex will receive the subsidy for at least the next 15 years and, as a result, residents will pay no more than 30 percent of their monthly incomes to rent. The RAD pilot also enables Central Villa's owners to loans or to obtain loans or enlist private investors to address its capital needs.

Earlier this year, HUD also approved the Yakima Housing Authority's own RAD proposal to convert 150 of its scattered-site public housing units to Section 8 project-based vouchers to expand its access to private investment capital.

"RAD is proving to be an innovative, cost-effective way to preserve both our public and privately-owned affordable housing inventory," said HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Mary McBride. "This is the second RAD project in Yakima we have approved and the lessons we learn will be of use to communities across the country. Best of all, it's a win-win - residents don't lose a critical affordable housing resource while the owner gains easier access to resources for the upkeep and upgrade of the property they own."

Nationally, RAD is expected generate more than $650 million in private capital to benefit more than 13,000 units of affordable housing for the next 20 years. In 2011, HUD released Capital Needs in the Public Housing Program, a study that found the nation's 1.2 million public housing units need nearly $26 billion to keep these homes in safe and decent condition for families, a figure well in excess of the roughly $2 billion Congress appropriates for capital repairs annually. Beyond the potential loss of this public housing, the Moderate Rehabilitation, Rent Supplement, and older Rental Assistance Payment (RAP) programs are at risk of being lost from the affordable housing stock.

RAD is part of the Obama Administration's comprehensive strategy to preserve public and HUD-assisted housing. In November 2011, Congress authorized HUD to implement RAD as a budget-neutral demonstration program with two components, allowing for the conversion of assistance for public housing and other HUD-assisted properties that have expiring subsidies.

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