HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) published a notice in the Federal Register announcing limits for public housing agencies (PHAs) applying to participate in both the Moving to Work (MTW) Demonstration expansion and the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Mobility Demonstration. The January 6 notice explains that the restrictions are necessary to ensure the integrity of the Congressionally mandated evaluations of both demonstrations.
HUD had previously published a notice in the Federal Register on July 15, 2020 implementing the HCV Mobility Demonstration and making $50 million available for grants to PHAs as a demonstration program authorized by statute.
Brief Background on MTW Expansion
The “Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016” authorized HUD to expand the MTW demonstration to an additional 100 high performing PHAs over a seven-year period to end in 2022. PHAs will be added to the MTW demonstration in groups (cohorts), each of which will be overseen by a research advisory committee to ensure the demonstrations are evaluated with rigorous research protocols, quantitative analysis, and comparisons to control groups. Each year’s cohort of MTW sites will be directed by HUD to test one specific policy change (see Memo, 8/31/20).
There are now five cohorts:
- Cohort 1 will evaluate the overall impact of MTW flexibilities on PHAs with fewer than 1,000 units.
- Cohort 2 will evaluate the impacts of different rent structures.
- Cohort 3 will evaluate the impacts of work requirements.
- Cohort 4 will evaluate incentives to landlords to participate in the HCV program.
- Cohort 5 will evaluate the overall impact of MTW flexibility on PHAs with fewer than 27,000 units.
PIH has issued notices soliciting PHAs to apply to participate in the first and second cohorts and anticipates announcing selections in early 2021.
PHAs may apply to all cohorts as well as to the HCV Mobility Demonstration; however, HUD restricts participation in both, depending on the cohort and MTW flexibilities a PHA chooses to use.
MTW Cohorts 1 and 5. PHAs selected for cohorts 1 and 5 may participate in both the HCV Mobility Demonstration and MTW expansion. However, HUD lists twelve MTW flexibilities that a PHA cannot implement without HUD approval during the term of HCV Mobility Demonstration in order to avoid unduly affecting the Mobility Demonstration. These restrictions only apply to a PHA’s HCV program; there will be no restrictions on a PHA’s public housing activities.
MTW Cohorts 2, 3, and 4. PHAs may not participate in both the HCV mobility demonstration and cohorts 2 (rent reform), 3 (work requirements), or 4 (landlord incentives).
The Federal Register notice is at: https://bit.ly/3pZcx7b