Urban Institute Releases MTW Mobility Report

The Urban Institute recently released a report titled “Moving to Work and Neighborhood Opportunity” that examines how MTW agencies have been able to use their status to promote mobility for their residents to “opportunity-rich” neighborhoods. These policies include “changes to the tenant-based Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program or policies that increase the affordable housing supply in opportunity neighborhoods through the project-based voucher (PBV) program.”

The report examines 45 mobility-related initiatives in place, proposed but not implemented, or closed out as of 2015, implemented by the existing 39 MTW agencies. The report specifically looks at four key MTW policy interventions that promote mobility: comprehensive mobility services (including mobility counselling and case management), incentives and supports for landlords, supports for tenants, and project-basing vouchers in “high-opportunity neighborhoods.” The report also examined MTW interventions that limit mobility. The reported notes that PHAs provided the following reasons for limiting mobility, “fairness, administrative burden, avoiding tenant evasion of work requirements, and limiting the amount of housing dollars leaving their jurisdiction.”

The report notes the limitations that come from relying solely on MTW plans and reports to catalog mobility-related efforts, however it justified the need to focus specifically on MTW agencies due to the “policy and funding flexibility that allows them to explore new approaches to providing housing assistance.”

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