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Affordable Housing , Community Development , Housing Policy Briefs , Reports and Publications

PHA Policies Promote Housing Choice

22 February 2017
Urban Institute

A report by the Urban Institute explored how public housing authorities (PHAs) are using the Moving to Work (MTW) program to increase housing choice and provide families with the option to move to high-opportunity areas (i.e., locations with relatively low poverty and crime rates as well as high levels of educational and economic opportunity).

The Housing Authority of New Haven’s (HANH) Deconcentration of Poverty Initiative was highlighted by the authors. Between 2010 and 2015, HANH moved 41 families to low-poverty areas by using strategies such as rent increases for landlords in low poverty communities.

The MTW program provides PHAs with the flexibility to create new strategies to help low-income residents find employment. Some of the policy interventions that are regularly used across the country include mobility counseling, incentives for landlords, project-based vouchers in “high-opportunity neighborhoods”, etc.  Research has shown that moving families to high-opportunity areas can improve a household’s overall health, education, and finances.

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