Research Report MTW Agencies' Use of Funding Flexibility
Diane K. Levy, David Long, Leiha Edmonds
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The Moving to Work (MTW) demonstration allows participating public housing agencies (PHAs) to implement innovative approaches to achieving three statutory objectives: cost effectiveness, household self-sufficiency, and housing choice. MTW funding flexibility is a cornerstone of agencies’ ability to work toward federally required and locally determined objectives. This flexibility allows the current 39 MTW agencies to treat the separate funding streams of public housing operations, capital improvements, and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) programs as fungible, moving funds among the separate streams and from them into local, non-traditional activities. This article examines how MTW agencies have used funding flexibility and includes a detailed examination of funding shifts from a sample of agencies. 

Our analysis indicates that all MTW agencies have used funding flexibility and undertaken more activities focused on increasing housing choice than on the other statutory objectives. A plurality of agencies has used the flexibility to leverage additional funding for priority activities. Among agencies in the sample, most of the funds shifted came from the HCV stream and the majority of shifted funds were used for capital projects.

Research Areas Social safety net Housing
Tags Housing affordability Housing subsidies
Policy Centers Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center