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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.

  • The Moving to Work Retrospective Evaluation
  • Volume 22 Number 3
  • Managing Editor: Mark D. Shroder
  • Associate Editor: Michelle P. Matuga

The Moving to Work Retrospective Evaluation

Elizabeth Rudd
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the official positions or policies of the Office of Policy Development and Research, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or the U.S. Government.

This symposium includes seven articles about Moving to Work (MTW), a demonstration with 39 public housing agencies (PHAs) that gives participating agencies enormous flexibility to determine how to provide low-income housing assistance in pursuit of the demonstration’s three statutory objectives: (1) to improve cost effectiveness, (2) to promote self-sufficiency of assisted households, and (3) to increase housing choice for low-income families. Six articles report research conducted by Urban Institute and MDRC for a HUD-sponsored retrospective evaluation of MTW. Congress requested an assessment of the MTW demonstration as a whole, rather than studies of initiatives at individual agencies. This was difficult to achieve because MTW encourages participating agencies to exercise local decisionmaking—this means that averages across agencies of outcomes embody agencies’ divergent goals and circumstances, and thus likely hide more information than they reveal. Nevertheless, the six retrospective studies reported on in this symposium offer the first longitudinal analysis and the most comprehensive view to date of MTW agencies, MTW housing assistance, MTW activities, and the performance of MTW agencies in relation to statutory objectives. The essay on HUD’s Rent Reform Demonstration also included here explains MTW’s contribution to a major, groundbreaking study on rent setting in HUD programs.

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