Benefits of Living in High-Opportunity Neighborhoods

Research Report

Benefits of Living in High-Opportunity Neighborhoods

Insights from the Moving to Opportunity Demonstration

Abstract

The Moving to Opportunity (MTO) demonstration tested the long-term benefits of helping poor families move from severely distressed housing projects to low-poverty neighborhoods. Evaluation results recently released by HUD find significant gains in health but not in employment, incomes, or educational attainment among experimental families. One possible reason gains were limited is that few families spent much more than a year living in high-opportunity neighborhoods. This brief summarizes new evidence that the MTO families that lived longer in neighborhoods with lower poverty and higher education levels did achieve better outcomes in work and school, as well as in health.

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