New Research Focuses on Moving to Work (MTW) Demonstration

Cityscape, a journal of original research published by HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research, released a new issue containing a series of articles examining the Moving to Work (MTW) demonstration program. Six of the articles report research conducted by the Urban Institute and MDRC for a HUD-sponsored retrospective evaluation of MTW. The articles examine how well public housing agencies (PHAs) that participate in MTW have been able to achieve statutory objectives to increase cost-effectiveness, promote the self-sufficiency of assisted households, and increase housing choice for low-income families.

MTW is a demonstration program that has allowed up to 39 PHAs to use public housing capital and operating funds and Housing Choice Voucher funds more flexibly to provide housing assistance to low-income households (see Memo, 1/22/18, 2/20/18, 7/13/20). HUD plans to expand MTW to 100 additional PHAs by 2022. More information, including discussion of the risks MTW poses to low-income families, can be found in NLIHC’s Advocates’ Guide to Housing and Community Development Policy, p. 4-57.

One paper analyzies how MTW agencies have used funding flexibility to move funds between distinct revenue streams, drawing on PHAs’ annual reports and interviews with staff. Another paper summarizes research previously covered in Memo that finds MTW status does not affect the cost per household. One study reports mixed evidence of how well MTW agencies have been able to promote self-sufficiency and increase housing options. Three papers provide international perspectives for evaluating MTW, and the issue includes a discussion of the trade-offs involved with alternative rent policies.

The current issue of Cityscape is at: