The Moving To Work (MTW) program, authorized by section 204 of the Omnibus Consolidated Rescissions and Appropriations Act of 1996, offers a limited number of housing authorities the opportunity to design and test innovative strategies for addressing the needs of their tenants and their communities.

MTW Goals and Flexibilities

MTW agencies have the flexibility to find new approaches  that accomplish three primary statutory goals:

  • Reducing cost and achieving greater costs effectiveness in Federal expenditures
  • Giving incentives to families with children where the head of household is working, is seeking work, or is preparing for work by participating in job training, educational programs, or programs that assist people to obtain employment and become economically self-sufficient
  •  Increasing housing choices for low-income families

Some of the flexibilities available include:

  • Combining operating, capital, and tenant-based assistance funds into a single agency-wide funding source
  • Refining rent policies for purposes such as eliminating unnecessary recertifications and simplifying those that are necessary (most, e.g., King County)
  • Creating local housing programs to address local needs, such as the sponsor-based housing programs in King County, Seattle, Cambridge, Portland, etc. or Minneapolis’s mortgage foreclosure prevention and homeownership initiatives
  • Streamlining development processes and using acquisition strategies to preserve or even increase the local stock of hard units (e.g., Charlotte)

MTW Agencies

As of December 2012, there are 39 housing authorities with MTW status. Each has an agency-specific MTW agreement with HUD, detailing the flexibilities granted in order to meet program goals. All agencies have had their agreements extended through the end of FY2018 at the earliest. Each year, the housing authority completes an annual plan, to be approved by HUD, and an annual report on the outcomes achieved. View the full list of participating housing authorities.