Dr. Ben Carson
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Secretary Carson Announces Expansion of Housing Preservation Program
Indianapolis, Indiana, September 5, 2019


As prepared for delivery. The speaker may add or subtract comments during his presentation.

It's wonderful to be in Indianapolis to see some of the incredible growth and development taking place in this city. I also want to thank Senator Mike Braun for inviting me to the Hoosier State to see all the great work going on here.

As a pediatric neurosurgeon, when you're caring for the brain conditions of children for a living, you learn a thing or two about how critically important it is to have "healthy development." But pretty much everyone in the country can learn a thing or two from what's happening in Indy.

Earlier this morning, I had a chance to visit the historic P.R. Mallory Campus, where a group of nonprofit development companies have partnered to revitalize the historic site into a development that will serve the community in a new way. This intrepid group is cultivating the campus into two affordable senior housing developments - including Indiana's first energy net-positive residential development - as well as two charter schools, and a small business incubator.

HUD is extremely proud to be a part of the story at P.R. Mallory. Our Department has provided more than $1.1 million dollars in Community Development Block Grant funding for the project. HUD has also enabled developers to leverage New Markets Tax Credit Allocation funding totaling nearly $20 million dollars in the aggregate.

In many ways, the renewal of the P.R. Mallory Campus reflects the revitalization of America's heartland happening all across the country. We are seeing a rebirth of our national spirit: our pride, our positivity, and our potential. This is being powered by a period of record low unemployment, unprecedented job growth, and a historically surging economy. Consumer confidence, productivity, and financial optimism have all come roaring back under this Administration's policies.

I am very excited today to announce an important new action by HUD to build on this momentum. Specifically, HUD will be significantly expanding our Rental Assistance Demonstration - or "RAD" - program, to facilitate capital investment in senior housing developments assisted through HUD's Section 202 Project Rental Assistance Contracts. This expansion will preserve and improve critically needed affordable housing for low-income seniors.

Strengthening RAD to include Section 202 Project Rental Assistance Contracts - or PRAC ["prac"] - units will now allow nonprofit housing developers to access capital investment to revitalize their aging developments and to ensure permanent affordability for their very low-income elderly residents. Across the country, there are approximately 120,000 units over 2,800 properties that will now become eligible to participate in RAD.

This is exciting news for those who provide affordable housing for senior citizens who need a stable home to age-in-place. By expanding RAD's reach, we can mobilize capital investment to tackle the projected backlog of repairs in these properties to preserve affordable housing for those who need it most.

The conversion of Section 202 PRACs builds on the success of the RAD program and the lessons learned across other assisted portfolios that are already eligible. To date, RAD has preserved nearly 150,000 units of affordable housing across the country, providing a stable home for thousands of low-income residents. Other changes to RAD in today's notice further strengthen the program for public housing authorities and tenants. The notice extends and expands on the resident rights protections built into RAD, and provides additional incentives for public housing authorities converting properties located in Opportunity Zones.

Under RAD, public housing authorities and other owners of affordable housing convert their developments to a project-based Section 8 platform. This conversion allows public housing authorities and owners to identify creative ways to solve their capital needs through public-private partnerships and with no new federal funding. These new long-term Section 8 contracts secure the sustainability and long-term affordability of covered properties, providing housing security for thousands of low-income households.

RAD has proven to be a powerful tool for public housing authorities to preserve affordable housing to serve more eligible households and to maximize the impact of the existing commitment of federal resources. Without RAD, it would have taken 46 years for housing authorities to finance the same level of repairs and renewals as undertaken in the last six years.

Conclusion

Many challenges remain on the road ahead, and the work won't be easy - but nothing worth doing ever is. So, I am grateful to those with us here today who are already partnering with HUD - and I encourage those not yet pursuing public-private partnership efforts to look for how you can get involved.

There is nothing that can stop these United States as long as we stay United. We all share a common commitment to this great nation, to its principles, and to its people. On behalf of HUD, I look forward to serving with you, and for you, in the months ahead.

Thank you, and God Bless.

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