Resident Advisory Councils (RACs)

General Background

  • RACs originate from provisions in the 1986 Housing Act to promote public housing resident participation.
  • A federal rule provides public housing residents with the right to organize and elect a resident council to represent their interests.
  • This regulation, 24 CFR Part 964, defines the obligation of HUD and PHAs to support resident participation activities through training and other activities.


The underlying idea of the RACs  is to help:

  • Respond to resident concerns.
  • Improve quality of life.
  • Represent resident interests.
  • Involve residents in creating a positive living environment.


  • Individual site-based RAC Boards are elected by residents at each development for a three-year term.
  • The elections are administered by an independent third-party vendor as required by HUD regulations.
  • Each RAC is made up of five officers – positions normally include a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Sergeant-at-Arms. 
  • Among the eligibility requirements to run for a RAC position, candidates must be in good standing, at least 18 years-old, listed on the lease for the unit they reside in and not have served more than two full terms as a RAC Board member. 

RAC Leadership Meetings

  • HACLA conducts seven general leadership training meetings with RAC Board members over the course of a year.  
  • Meeting topics include HACLA’s community budget process where resident leaders participate in agency budget discussions, training on how to prepare and manage individual RAC budgets, conflict resolution, parliamentary procedures and Board member roles and responsibilities. 
  • RACs also provide input to the annual Agency Plan and draft policy changes affecting residents (such as Resident Parking Policy and establishing a Non-Smoking Policy). 
  • Individual RACs also meet with staff on a monthly basis and receive briefings on important topics from HACLA senior staff as necessary. 

Housing Authority Resident Advisory Council (HARAC)

HACLA re-established the Housing Authority Resident Advisory Council (HARAC) in 2014. The HARAC is made up of representatives from all 14 sites with the goal of providing a collective resident voice on important issues and ensuring resident representation in the absence of a functioning RAC.  HARAC members are elected at the same time as RAC members and may serve on both Boards.

The HARAC’s general purpose is to receive information regarding current programs and policies, advise HACLA of resident concerns and report back to residents at the monthly RAC site meeting. The Board’s quarterly meetings occur in January, April, July and October and are often held offsite to show Board members the range of housing HACLA offers. The offsite meetings also aim to give HARAC members insight into potential future strategies for low-income housing provision. On important issues, such as the community budget process, HARAC members are invited to join their RAC colleagues at a general leadership meeting.

Resident Advisory Council Newsletter - 1st Quarter - English

Resident Advisory Council Newsletter - 1st Quarter - Spanish

For more information, please contact:

Eric Brown
Director of Intergovernmental Relations
(213) 252-1826