This study explores project-based voucher (PBV) use at Moving to Work (MTW) agencies through a mixed-methods approach. We examine several questions about PBV assistance, including the share of assistance and Housing Choice Voucher budget authority devoted to PBVs, the relationships between PBVs and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), the locations of PBV-assisted units, and motivations for using PBVs through case studies of three MTW agencies. We use a combination of HUD administrative data, publicly available neighborhood-level data, document review, and interviews with staff at three MTW agencies.
Our findings show that MTW agencies are more likely to use PBVs and RAD than traditional agencies, that PBVs are used more in tighter or more expensive housing markets, and that PBV units are frequently developed using financing from LIHTC. MTW agencies do not appear to use PBVs to help families reach lower-poverty, opportunity-rich neighborhoods. Rather, case studies show that the three agencies' primary motivations were to expand affordable housing opportunities and improve cost efficiency. The case studies also highlight the importance of local contexts and priorities in agency decision-making.