HUD’s PIH Hosts Webinars on New Asset-Building MTW Cohort

HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) is hosting three webinars in preparation for the newest Moving To Work (MTW) Demonstration expansion cohort evaluating asset-building initiatives for public housing residents (see Memo, 5/2). PIH is partnering with the Consumer Finance Protection Board (CFPB) for the webinars and design of the asset-building cohort demonstration. “Asset-building” activities are activities that encourage the growth of assisted residents’ savings accounts and/or that aim to build their credit. Public housing agencies (PHAs) interested in participating in the cohort must submit applications by July 28.

The first webinar was held on May 10. (Stakeholders were informed of the webinar via an email sent at 5 pm ET on May 9.) According to the email, the webinar was meant to cover key elements of finance for public housing residents trying to grow financial assets and increase their financial well-being. A recording of and Power Point materials from the webinar will be available on the MTW asset-building cohort webpage (as will materials from the next two webinars).

The next webinar will be held on Tuesday, May 24, at 2 pm ET. PIH staff will explain a forthcoming notice that describes how PHAs can submit applications to the asset-building cohort and how PIH will select PHAs for participation in the cohort. Stakeholders can join using this link or by telephone by calling 888-251-2949 and using access code 3334803#.

The third webinar will be held on Tuesday, June 7, at 2 pm ET. Staff from PIH and CFPB will describe strategies for helping public housing residents build positive credit histories. Stakeholders can join via this link, using webinar number 2763 015 8560 and webinar password 2SThfN6Zmj$2. Stakeholders can also join by telephone by calling 404-397-1590 and using access code 2763 015 8560 and webinar password 27843669.

PIH’s MTW Asset Building Cohort webpage has also added a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) resource and a sample application timeline for applicant PHAs.

NLIHC and consumer advocates have conveyed to PIH their concern that the credit building option for the demonstration (see Memo, 5/2) will require PHAs to report public housing residents’ rent payments using “full file reporting,” meaning that alongside on-time rent payments, late and missed payments will be reported as well. NLIHC and other organizations had urged PIH to require that PHAs only report on-time rent payments, which the three major credit reporting entities can accommodate. Full file reporting can harm residents if they encounter as few as one or two slightly late or small missed payments that are episodic due to unforeseen circumstances and otherwise not indicative of serious rent payment problems. NLIHC has also urged PIH to define “small” unpaid balances so that participating PHAs do not report minor unpaid rent balances, which could result in damage to a household’s credit. As one potential definition of “small,” NLIHC has informed PIH that starting in 2023, the major credit reporting agencies will not include medical collection debt under $500. While NLIHC welcomes CFPB’s involvement, NLIHC has also urged PIH to more directly engage other consumer-oriented organizations such as the Credit Builders Alliance and the National Consumer Law Center in designing and evaluating this cohort.

Brief MTW Background

Under MTW, HUD can waive nearly all provisions of the “United States Housing Act of 1937” and its accompanying regulations, including most of the main rules and standards governing Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs) and public housing. MTW agencies are also allowed to shift public housing Capital and Operating Funds and HCV assistance (including Administrative Fees and Housing Assistance Payment [HAP]) to purposes other than those for which they were originally appropriated (referred to as “fungibility”). More information about the MTW Demonstration expansion can be found on NLIHC’s public housing website.

View PIH’s MTW Asset-Building Cohort webpage at:

Read Notice PIH 2022-11 announcing the asset-building cohort at:

Read NLIHC’s “Summary of the Key Features of the MTW Asset-Building Cohort” at:

Read more about MTW on NLIHC’s public housing website and on page 4-63 of NLIHC’s 2022 Advocates’ Guide.