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Cityscape: Volume 14 Number 2 | Article 3


The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Moving to Opportunity

Volume 14 Number 2

Mark D. Shroder

Michelle P. Matuga

MTO: A Successful Housing Intervention

Jennifer Comey, Susan J. Popkin, Kaitlin Franks, Urban Institute


At its core, Moving to Opportunity (MTO) was a housing intervention offering public housing families tenant-based vouchers to move to the private market. Giving families vouchers resulted in better quality housing for them 10 to 15 years later, potentially contributing to the physical and mental health improvements of those who participated in MTO. Using a triangulated, multisource strategy, we find that two-thirds of all MTO households still receive housing assistance. The Section 8 group experienced higher rates of doubling up, although the MTO intervention had no effect on housing cost burdens. The experimental group experienced material hardship, making tradeoffs between paying their rent on time and paying utilities.

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