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Cityscape: Volume 22 Number 3 | The Moving to Work Retrospective Evaluation


The Moving to Work Retrospective Evaluation

Volume 22 Number 3

Mark D. Shroder
Michelle P. Matuga

Moving to Work Agencies’ Use of Project-Based Voucher Assistance

Martha M. Galvez
Daniel Teles
Alyse D. Oneto
Matthew Gerken
Urban Institute

The Moving to Work (MTW) demonstration gives selected public housing agencies greater flexibility with their spending and the ability to provide innovative housing assistance to low-income households. This paper explores multiple aspects of MTW agencies’ use of project-based voucher (PBV) assistance, including the share of assistance and Housing Choice Voucher budget authority devoted to PBVs, the relationships between PBVs and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), the locations of PBV-assisted units, and motivations for using PBVs through case studies of three MTW agencies. We use a combination of HUD administrative data, publicly available neighborhood-level data, MTW plans and reports, and qualitative data. Our findings show that MTW agencies are more likely to use PBVs and RAD than traditional agencies, and that PBVs are used more in tighter housing markets and have a significant overlap with LIHTC properties. The study also finds that there is little evidence that PBVs reach lower-poverty, opportunity-rich neighborhoods. Three case studies underscore the diverse ways that MTW agencies use PBVs to pursue the MTW program’s statutory objectives and highlight the importance of local contexts and priorities in agency decisionmaking about PBV use.

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