The RAD, or Rental Assistance Demonstration Program, is a new program initiated by HUD to address the underfunded capital needs of public housing apartments across the country. Through RAD, Fort Worth Housing Solutions is able to seek private funding options that assist in renovating many of our properties, some of which have been in long disrepair, keeping them viable and most importantly affordable. The RAD program converts public housing subsidies into project-based rental assistance contracts. These contracts can be leveraged against private debt sources to raise the necessary funds for significant rehabilitation or renovation.
Through RAD, Fort Worth Housing Solutions is deconcentrating public housing and relocating Butler residents to affordable housing in neighborhoods across the city. Residents benefit from upgraded and in some cases, new homes while still paying about 30 percent of their adjusted income for rent.
Residents can choose from more than 20 mixed-income properties in neighborhoods with better access to good schools, jobs, transportation, grocery stores and supportive services. The agency is using a lottery system to give all residents an equal chance to move to the property of their choice.
No. They are relocating to more than 16 properties that are located in many different communities in Fort Worth. Typically, fewer than 20% of the units in a single property are set aside for RAD. At Stallion Pointe, for example, there are only 15 RAD units in the 264-unit apartment complex. So 15 families moved from Butler into these units in Dec. 2017.
Residents receive notices as RAD units become available at various properties. They return an interest form by the cut-off date that indicates their preference for a property. Once all forms are received for each property, names are entered into a database and lottery numbers are randomly assigned to each person. Then FWHS uses software to randomly select lottery numbers, which identify the residents who will relocate to the new property.
Some residents are concerned that they will be moved away from jobs, transportation and services like Amaka, the day care located in the heart of Butler. What are you doing about this?
Residents have choices. Our properties are located in areas that provide better access to good schools, daycare options, job opportunities, healthy foods and amenities. We have worked with the city, Fort Worth ISD and Trinity Metro to identify areas where new schools, bus routes and economic development are proposed so that our new properties are built in good locations.
Our staff is working with residents to address their concerns. We understand that change can be difficult for some and hope we can reassure residents through dialogue and personal tours of properties. Still, it is possible that some residents will not choose any of the RAD options. If this happens, alternative housing options will be made available.
The FWHS Board of Commissioners meets monthly at 5 p.m. and there is always an opportunity for public comment. Check the website calendar for meeting dates. Additionally, FWHS staff meets regularly with Butler residents to provide status updates and answer questions. Written comments for the Board of Commissioners can be submitted in person, electronically or by mail and become part of the official records.
Our goal is for all Butler Place residents to be relocated by the end of 2020.
At this time, the FWHS Board of Commissioners has not adopted a redevelopment plan for Butler. Our immediate and highest priority is our residents and their relocations to affordable new homes.
A portion of Butler Place (approximately 17 acres) is on the National Register of Historic Places. Future redevelopment plans will include proposals for ways to preserve its historical value.
The City of Fort Worth provides housing programs so I am confused. Is FWHS part of the City of Fort Worth?
Fort Worth Housing Solutions (FWHS) is a municipal housing authority, not a City department. We are one of the nation’s 3,900 public housing authorities. Click here to learn about our history. Some housing authorities rely on federal funding only but we have a different business model. In addition to providing housing assistance, we manage, acquire and develop affordable properties in various types of public/private partnerships. We also provide many services and programs that give residents the foundation to improve their lives and work toward self-sufficiency. The City of Fort Worth provides services for neighborhood associations, first-time homebuyers and people who are homeless.
The locations listed on your portfolio map are not Section 8 housing, correct? I’ve heard that Section 8 housing increases crime and lowers property values.
The type of housing we offer is partially funded through the Section 8 platform. All programs administered by FWHS have criminal background requirements, credit requirements and other policies that participants must comply with in order to maintain their housing assistance.
FWHS partners with the Fort Worth Police Department to ensure that residents and the communities we serve are safe and protected. The need for additional security at each property is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
We are committed to a transparent process and to involve the community in our efforts to support our residents. We work with the Fort Worth City Council and city staff to ensure notifications to neighborhoods and the local community. We continue to hold community meetings about affordable housing across the city.
Yes! It’s to provide safe, affordable housing where people can flourish and become more self-sufficient. Our goal is to not to separate low-income residents from others, but welcome them into the broader community and expand access to better schools, job opportunities, transportation, grocery stores and other amenities.