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Moving To Opportunity (MTO)


    • MTO is a unique random assignment research effort sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

    • This demonstration was designed to help very low-income families with children living in public housing or Section 8 project-based housing in extremely poor neighborhoods relocate to “opportunity neighborhoods” for greater self-sufficiency and improved individual and family well-being.

    • The MTO demonstration ran in five large cities -- Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York -- between September 1994 and August 1998.

    • A total of 4,608 families enrolled in the MTO demonstration and were randomly assigned. The demonstration combined Section 8 rental assistance with intensive housing search and counseling services to ease families' relocation to low-poverty communities and help them become self-sufficient.



    • The National Bureau of Economic Research served as HUD’s contractor in conducting the final evaluation, and has posted a webpage with multiple MTO resources here.

    • A public use file has been posted with the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) here to permit replication of MTO final results published in the journal Science.

    • A restricted use file of data underlying the interim report is also available to some researchers at ICPSR and is further described here.

The Final and Interim reports from the demonstration are available at www.huduser.gov/portal/Publications/pdf/MTOFullReport.pdf, and www.huduser.gov/portal/publications/fairhsg/mtoFinal.html, respectively.



Note: Guidance documents, except when based on statutory or regulatory authority or law, do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. Guidance documents are intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.