NAHRO Attends Two-Day Research Advisory Committee Meeting on MTW Expansion

NAHRO attended the two day public meeting of the Moving To Work (MTW) Research  Advisory Committee held on September 1, 2016 and September 2, 2016. While a complete summary of the entire two-day meeting is outside the scope of this blog post, the Committee made some preliminary determinations of the policy interventions for the new MTW cohorts.

Each cohort will receive standard MTW flexibilities, except for where those flexibilities may conflict with a policy intervention being tested. The following policy interventions were the ones that the Committee determined HUD should further examine when moving forward with the expansion:

  1. General MTW Flexibilities – Cohort of 30 agencies (possibly two cohorts of 15 agencies each) which would be given all general MTW flexibilities. Would be restricted to only small agencies and would be compared to a control group of small agencies to test the effects of the “standard MTW package.”
  2. Rent Reform – This cohort would test the efficacy and tenant impact of stepped rent and possibly also flat rent and tiered rent.
  3. Project-Based Voucher Caps –  This cohort would test the effects of removing or increasing PBV caps.
  4. Sponsored-Based Housing – A cohort that would test the effect of sponsored-based housing. It is unclear what specific type of sponsor-based housing or the vulnerable population affected would be. The Committee was split on whether to recommend this.
  5. Landlord Incentives – This cohort would test a “satchel” of flexibilities (e.g., increased payment standards, cash to landlords, inspection flexibilities, etc.) to determine their combined effect. Agencies will be able to pick and choose which tools in the “satchel” they utilize.
  6. Place-Based Model – This cohort would try to measure the effects of place-based strategies towards housing. The was discussed very quickly at the end of the two-day long meeting.

These were the Committee’s recommendations to HUD about how it should move forward, but these policy interventions are not necessarily the ones with which HUD will choose to move forward. Everything is subject to change.

This was my recollection of the end of the two-day long meeting, but if you attended the meeting, either in-person or by phone, and want to add something, please feel free to leave a comment on this post.

Additional information will be posted on HUD’s MTW Expansion website located here.

September is Attendance Awareness Month

As schools get into full swing this month, September is Attendance Awareness Month. For schools to work as centers of learning, it is important for students to be in class. Attendance Works focuses on the importance of student attendance and tracking student attendance data. PHAs and community development organizations can be an important partner with families and schools to insure increased school attendance and therefore improved educational outcomes for the children living in affordable housing..

As part of Attendance Awareness Month, Attendance Works is hosting a webinar on using attendance data.

Thursday, September 8, 2016: Ensuring an Equal Opportunity to Learn: Leveraging Chronic Absence Data for Strategic Action, 11-12:30 pm (PT) / 2-3:30 pm (ET). Register now.

In June 2016, the U.S. Office for Civil Rights released its first national count of students who were chronically absent. The data showed a staggering 6.5 million students were chronically absent, which means that they missed so much school that their ability to read well and gain fundamental skills and knowledge for college and career was hampered. In the 500 most heavily impacted districts, over 30% of students were chronically absent.

Join experts Hedy Chang, Executive Director of Attendance Works and Dr. Robert Balfanz, Director of the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University as they release a major national study analyzing the data and more importantly, showing how leaders at the local, state and national levels can take strategic action to monitor and address chronic absence in order to ensure an equal opportunity to learn and succeed.

 The webinar will provide suggestions and tips on to become engaged in attendance awareness month activities such as displaying an attendance poster at housing sites, establishing or expanding programmatic interventions such as a mentoring program, etc.

More information on Attendance Awareness Month and Attendance Works can be found at: