Repositioning Public Housing

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Department of Housing and Urban Development



WASHINGTON, DC 20410-5000


November 13, 2018

Dear Executive Director,

As you know, the capital needs of our nation’s public housing inventory has outpaced Federal funding for much of the past decade.  In 2010, HUD conservatively estimated the public housing capital needs backlog at almost $26 billion, and we believe this figure continues to grow at around $3.5 billion every year. The public housing industry also faces barriers in accessing other forms of affordable housing financing commonly available in the private market. Some PHAs are understandably struggling to preserve the quality of these important affordable housing resources which serve 1 million families nationwide. 

Under the leadership of Secretary Carson, the Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) is focusing on repositioning public housing  by providing PHAs with additional flexibilities, allowing communities to develop locally appropriate strategies to preserve affordable housing. The Department set a goal to reposition 105,000 public housing units to a more sustainable platform by September 30, 2019 in its FY2019 Annual Performance Plan.

The success of the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, new flexibilities for Section 18 demolition and disposition, together with forthcoming guidance on Voluntary Conversions and the Retention of Assets after a Declaration of Trust (DOT) release will help us reach this goal together and set public housing properties on a more financially sustainable path.

Within PIH we are taking several steps to achieve this goal. Over the past few months many of our Office Directors have been highlighting repositioning tools at industry conferences. We are also building capacity in our Field Offices and the Special Application Center, focusing staff on this priority, and developing additional guidance and training materials to help you understand your repositioning options. As we make more resources available, we’ll make them available on the PIH One-Stop Tool for PHAs (POST) .     

Over the next few months your local Public Housing Field Office may contact you to explore repositioning possibilities in your inventory. Our goal in reaching out to you is to make sure you and your staff are aware of the repositioning strategies available and to provide technical assistance where needed. We look forward to helping facilitate locally-driven solutions to your unique set of challenges and opportunities.

If you are interested in learning more about this goal and the repositioning tools available, please contact your local Public Housing Field Office.

Thank you for your continued partnership and assistance in this important effort to ensure that these incredibly important and limited affordable housing resources in your communities are preserved to house future generations.


Many thanks,


Dominique Blom