NHLP’s Deborah Thrope quoted in recent RAD housing article from nextcity.org/
Deborah Thorpe of the San Francisco-based National Housing Law Project agrees that RAD is one of the best shots that public housing funding has at the moment, but cautions that too much is happening too soon before any data is in.
The National Housing Law Project was actually involved in the conception of the RAD language and Thorpe is proud of the tenant protections woven throughout the program. “RAD is really great on paper, in part because our organization and others were able to bring tenants themselves to the table along with other stakeholders — that’s a key piece of this. There’s a lot of tenant protections and long-term affordability in the authorizing statute that’s important,” she says. “Unfortunately, what we’ve seen is that the program has some important preservation language, but implementation has, in some places, left something to be desired for several reasons. One is that it’s a ‘demonstration’ program that now includes over 400,000 units — over half of the public housing stock in the country — before we have any real data.”
San Francisco has been touted as a RAD success story, which Thorpe agrees with, in the sense that the city has converted its entire public housing portfolio without having lost a resident yet. This is partly thanks to a third-party consultant that the city brought in to make sure the conversion was a collaborative process with tenants.