New Findings on the Benefits and Limitations of Assisted Housing Mobility

Brief

New Findings on the Benefits and Limitations of Assisted Housing Mobility

April 14, 2008

Abstract

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) launched the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) demonstration in 1994 in five cities: Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. MTO targeted families living in some of the nations poorest, highest-crime communities and used housing subsidies to offer them a chance to move to lower-poverty neighborhoods. Research on the families conducted in 2002 raised some important questions about the impact of the program. Findings from the follow up Three-City Study of MTO, in 2004 and 2005, answer some of the questions but also highlight the complexity of the MTO experience and the limitations of a relocation-only strategy in being able to bring about fundamental changes in the lives of very low income families.

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