Cloudburst has produced a series of photo essays to shine a light on the numerous successes of HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program and to showcase its direct impact on diverse communities across the country. A program of HUD’s Multifamily Office of Recapitalization, RAD allows public housing authorities (PHAs) to leverage public and private equity to rehabilitate and upgrade neglected rental properties to ensure that these units remain permanently affordable to low-income households. RAD enables housing authority properties to be a positive asset in their respective communities by providing high-quality, energy-efficient, and functional rental units for existing and future residents to live and prosper in the ever-changing economy. For this series, Cloudburst interviewed local PHA staff, development partners, local stakeholders, and residents to help tell the story of each project.
The latest photo essay focuses on Lyman Terrace in the historic town of Holyoke, Massachusetts. Built in 1939, Lyman Terrace is one of the oldest public housing projects in the country, located in downtown Holyoke just one block from City Hall. Prior to this project, Lyman Terrace was extremely outdated and required significant design and systems upgrades. The Holyoke Housing Authority was unable to obtain funding to address these critical needs until it applied to HUD to participate in the RAD program. Through RAD, the project was able to achieve its goals to improve the structures in ways that would upgrade accessibility in the living space, expand site connections with the surrounding community, increase the convenience of resident services, and improve the property’s overall appeal. When completed, the three-city-block site will offer 160 affordable apartments, ranging from one- to four-bedroom units.