HUD Expands Its Housing Innovations Program

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Acting Secretary Adrianne Todman has announced the final cohort of Moving to Work (MTW) Demonstration program expansion after collaborating with Congress, advocates, and industry groups.

A total of 14 housing agencies will evaluate MTW’s impact on administrative efficiency and resident services. MTW offers flexibility to create customized solutions to help residents and increase housing choice for families.

“We are committed to finding innovative solutions that increase and preserve our housing supply and empowers families,” said Acting Secretary Todman. “With this expansion complete, we look forward to learning from these communities and applying the most promising and successful ideas to inform future policy and programs.”

Advancing MTW initiatives

MTW is a demonstration program for public housing authorities (PHAs) that provides them the opportunity to design and test innovative, locally designed strategies that use federal dollars more efficiently, help residents find employment and become self-sufficient, and increase housing choices for low-income families. MTW allows PHAs exemptions from many existing public housing and voucher rules and provides funding flexibility with how they use their federal funds. PHAs in the MTW demonstration have pioneered a number of innovative policy interventions that have been proven to be successful at the local level, and subsequently rolled out to the rest of the country’s PHAs.

HUD collaborated closely with the Federal Research Advisory Council to shape policies evaluated by the five cohorts. With this milestone, 139 MTW housing agencies now operate nationwide across 40 states and D.C. Notably, 17 states without prior MTW housing agencies now have access to flexibilities.

“Well performing housing agencies can take their operations to the next level with the administrative flexibility and the ability to be more creative in fulfilling their mission,” said Richard J. Monocchio, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing. “It’s an exciting time at HUD. With this final cohort, we now have 100 additional housing agencies leading locally-designed housing innovations that will contribute to the Department’s cutting-edge policy development that can be scaled nationally.”

Inspiring innovation through MTW

First authorized by Congress in 1996, MTW is a demonstration that provides housing agencies the opportunity to redefine how they operate by giving them flexibility to try “outside the box” ideas that address local community needs in innovative ways. MTW agencies are trailblazers in driving innovation in the delivery of providing housing and services to low-income residents. The program encourages an entrepreneurial spirit to create solutions in a new way. MTW agencies have directly influenced national policy for over 25 years, paving the way for the future delivery of federally assisted housing.

The following housing agencies were selected for the MTW Flexibility II Cohort:

  • Livermore Housing Authority (Livermore, California)
  • Boulder County Housing Authority (Longmont, Colorado)
  • West Hartford Housing Authority (West Hartford, Connecticut)
  • Seminole County Housing Authority (Longwood, Florida)
  • Boca Raton Housing Authority (Boca Raton, Florida)
  • Evansdale Municipal Housing Authority (Evansdale, Iowa)
  • Kendall Housing Authority (Kendall, Illinois)
  • Watertown Housing Authority (Watertown, Massachusetts)
  • Bath Housing Authority (Bath, Maine)
  • Great Plains Housing Authority (Jamestown, North Dakota)
  • Portsmouth Housing Authority (Portsmouth, New Hampshire)
  • Housing Authority of the City of Rochester (Rochester, New Hampshire)
  • Pittston Housing Authority (Pittston, Pennsylvania)
  • Staunton Redevelopment and Housing Authority (Staunton, Virginia)

Latest HUD action

In its quest for the advancement of equitable and affordable housing nationwide, HUD recently announced $2.75 million in grants to seven nonprofit organizations to support training and education for existing and prospective HUD-certified housing counselors.

“Knowledgeable housing counselors are instrumental to helping households make informed choices about their financial options,” said Julia Gordon, Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner. “We are pleased to support these organizations that are so vital to ensuring that everyone has access to safe and affordable housing.”

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Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 25-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, most recently serving as Editor-in-Chief for National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He graduated from the New York Institute of Technology, where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books, and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.
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