Ben Carson’s belief in the success of the RAD program – Rental Demonstration Program – could be put to the test as residents in a NYC public housing building complex may face adverse effects from their home no longer being owned by the New York City Housing Authority, but by a private landlord. According to the New York Daily News, Boerum Hill’s NYCHA apartment has transferred its’ control to a private company. However, residents like 53-year-old William Latimore are fearful of his future, as he and his family may end up with no place to live because the apartment that once belonged to his mother before she died does not have his name on the lease. William’s situation is similar to many other residents who cannot afford for additional family members who live in the apartment to be named on the lease.
“This evaluation validates our long-held belief that RAD is working,” Carson said in a press release announcing the evaluation of RAD in 2012. “Our aging public housing stock is at extreme risk of being lost and the capital needs of these properties are beyond what we can hope to get from Congress. RAD provides us the solution to preserve this critically needed housing so it remains permanently affordable for future generations.”
“Under the federal Rental Assistance Demonstration program, or RAD, private entities assume control of NYCHA developments, fund upkeep, and turn a profit in exchange,” the Daily News Reports. And while it is unclear how many residents live in public housing without leases, the site estimates that it could be anywhere between 100,000 and 200,000 people. Though a common issue in New York City, the shift of ownership that the housing authority will be implementing would likely impact the homeless crisis within the city.
Councilman Ritchie Torres (D-Bronx) said that it is common for people to live in New York City Public Housing without being on the lease. “It’s widespread in public housing,” he said. “Families who are hanging on by a thread have no incentive to increase their rent by reporting every family member.”
Torres added that the city has yet to offer reassurance to those would could be affected.
A NYCHA official said that the city does not want to evict residents, which would increase the city’s homeless population. On the other hand, the official said that the city is obligated to collect rent based on the number of people living in the unit.
Carson recently commended the current leadership of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the country’s largest public housing provider. He also praised attempts to have private entities manage some of their developments.