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Carson announces expansion of HUD's 'Moving to Work' demonstration

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Wed, Sep 16th 2020 09:00 am

Department invites 100 additional housing authorities to join program over next 2 years

During his remarks at the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association’s (PHADA) 2020 Legislative Conference, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson announced HUD is expanding its “Moving to Work” (MTW) Demonstration, which invites 100 additional housing authorities to join the program over the next two-year period. MTW allows public housing agencies (PHAs) to practice greater program flexibility and encourages housing choice and self-sufficiency among low-income families. Read the notice here.

“We’ve seen that giving housing authorities flexibilities to care for their vulnerable populations under the ‘Moving to Work’ demonstration has led to excellent results for low-income families,” Carson said. “Today we are pleased to invite additional housing authorities to join in on this program and replicate the successes we’ve seen across the country.”

“Every American should have the opportunity to access the tools they need for success, and this administration continues to prioritize putting Americans back to work every single day,” said Lynne Patton, HUD regional administrator for New York and New Jersey. “ ‘Moving to Work’ gives public housing authorities key flexibilities and empowers residents to achieve self-sufficiency and financial independence.” 

“We are pleased the department has moved forward on the ‘MTW’ expansion, and look forward to the next steps,” said Tim Kaiser, executive director of PHADA. “Local decision making and flexibility to respond to local conditions allow public housing agencies to be more effective given their unique local conditions. MTW offers that flexibility, and we hope future cohorts will have more of the flexibility provided to the original 39 MTW agencies.”

“The MTW demonstration provides PHAs with the opportunity to create and test innovative, locally designed strategies to assist families in finding employment and achieving self-sufficiency,” said Hunter Kurtz, HUD’s assistant secretary for public and Indian housing. “The demonstration strives to increase housing choices for low-incomes families and use federal funds in a more cost-effective way. MTW helps local communities leverage their strengths, resources, and partnerships to ensure they continue meeting the needs of the families they serve.”

Currently, there are 39 “MTW” PHAs throughout the nation. In 2015, Congress allowed HUD to expand the “MTW” demonstration program to 100 additional PHAs by 2022. With the publication of the final “MTW” operations notice, HUD can now invite eligible PHAs to submit complete applications under the first two cohorts of the “MTW” expansion. Future cohorts will be announced in the near future.

HUD's “MTW” demonstration program encourages PHAs to develop unique self-sufficiency strategies, tailored to the needs of their local communities.

These locally designed strategies are designed to improve upon the one-size-fits-all approach. In contrast to traditional PHAs, “MTW” agencies have flexibility to design and implement the housing choice vouchers (HCVs) and public housing programs to better benefit the communities they serve. “MTW” PHAs can also streamline administrative procedures and enjoy greater financial flexibilities to run a more efficient and cost-effective operation.

One hundred “MTW” PHAs will be added in five cohorts. Each cohort will experiment with a certain affordable housing policy, and HUD will study that policy change to learn what successful “MTW” innovations should be applied to all PHAs across the nation.

Interested agencies should consider the types of policies they would like to implement as part of the demonstration program. Examples of policies that have been implemented by agencies can be found in the “MTW” plans and reports on HUD's website.

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