Moving to Work Retrospective: Moving to Work Agencies’ Use of Project-Based Voucher Assistance
This study examines MTW agencies’ use of project-based vouchers (PBV)—voucher funds attached to specific units through long-term contracts—including extent of, locations of, and factors associated with use of PBVs, and selected comparisons to traditional agencies. In 2016 nine (of 39) MTW agencies exceeded the cap on project-basing voucher funding that applied then to traditional public housing agencies (PHAs). Compared to tenant-based vouchers at the same agency, PBVs were in census tracts with higher education levels and lower transportation costs, but also higher poverty and lower air quality. Compared to others, white households in every housing program were in better neighborhoods. Neighborhood poverty levels were the same for MTW agencies’ PBVs in Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) developments, in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and other properties. In addition, more racial segregation in a county was associated with higher shares of PBV-assisted households in higher-poverty neighborhoods. MTW and traditional agencies used more PBVs when they were in tight rental markets and had more distressed public housing. Three case studies describe how MTW agencies used PBVs to address priority goals, including bringing educational services to families with young children, preserving existing affordable units, and housing the homeless.