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House and Senate leaders have come to an agreement on a spending bill that contains a major win for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: the expansion of the Rental Assistance Demonstration, allowing for the conversion of up to 185,000 units of public housing. The proposed Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015, or “CR-Omnibus,” would also extend the demonstration period through 2018.

By growing the RAD program from the current 60,000-unit cut off, this legislation provides for the conversion of all properties currently on the RAD waiting list. With PHA’s limited redevelopment options and the substantial public housing capital improvements backlog, the RAD provisions in the continuing resolution-omnibus bill will open another avenue for some housing authorities to leverage capital money for needed improvements.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the bill on Thursday, December 11. A Senate approval is likely to follow shortly thereafter. For more on RAD, please see the Housing Plus archive.