Senior Director for Housing Policy and Research
As I wrote yesterday and discuss more in a new analysis, some members of Congress have called for expanding the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Moving-to-Work (MTW) demonstration, which provides state and local agencies sweeping authority to operate outside the laws and regulations that normally govern the public housing and “Section 8” housing voucher programs.
Though frequently well-administered at the local level, MTW is an ineffective way to test policy alternatives or streamline program rules, and has produced substantial harmful effects — including permitting funds to be shifted away from vouchers that help needy families and undercutting federal standards that are key to the effectiveness of housing assistance programs.
Fortunately, Congress and HUD could take other measures that would effectively streamline rules, test innovative policies, and empower high-performing agencies, without undermining important program standards or permitting funding shifts from vouchers that leave vulnerable families on waiting lists for assistance and at risk of homelessness. Here are five examples: