PIH Notice 2012-16: Request for Applications under the Moving to Work Demonstration Program

Summary:  The FY 2011 appropriations law carried over from 2010 to 2011 the provision that HUD may add an additional three Moving-to-Work (MTW) agencies with the same eligibility criteria (listed below).  Additionally, because the Department filled only two of the three authorized slots made available pursuant to the 2010 Act, the Department will solicit applications for one remaining MTW agency authorized in 2010, and the three agencies authorized for 2011 under this notice. 

PHAs' applications in response to HUD's notice must be received by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday, June 27, 2012.  Each MTW PHA’s contract agreement with HUD will run until the end of its 2018 fiscal year regardless of the date it received the MTW designation. There is no guarantee that a PHA’s MTW designation will be authorized beyond the expiration of these Agreements.

PHAs applying for MTW status are subject to the following requirements:

(1)          The PHA is currently designated as a High Performing agency under the Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS), and


(2)          The PHA administers no more than 5,000 aggregate housing vouchers and public housing units.

The statutory purpose of the MTW demonstration is to give PHAs and HUD the flexibility to design and test various approaches for providing and administering housing assistance that:

(1)                Reduce cost and achieve greater cost effectiveness in federal expenditures;


(2)                Give incentives to families4 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; and


(3)                Increase housing choices for eligible low-income families.

Section 204 of the 1996 Act also requires MTW agencies to establish a reasonable rent policy designed to encourage employment and self-sufficiency by participating families.

Additionally, applicants must meet the eligibility criteria set forth by HUD and be willing to test policy priorities defined by the Department.  In addition to detailed threshold requirements listed in the notice, each PHA applicant must test two priority policy initiatives if it receives an MTW designation. HUD’s priority policy initiatives are:

(1) Rent Reform Controlled Study – HUD is interested in rigorously testing the effects of alternate rent strategies. Alternate rent strategies are defined as variations of the tenant rent calculations required by statute in order to promote one of the MTW statutory objectives given on page 2 of this notice. By submitting an application in response to this notice, applicants certify an alternate rent strategy will be designed and implemented via MTW within two years of the execution of an MTW Agreement with HUD. As part of the study, applicants agree to institute a random assignment process for participants to treatment and control groups to address research standards.

(2) Applicants must select one of the following:

a.            Housing Choice Mobility Demonstration – To further the third statutory objective of the MTW demonstration, increasing housing choice, applicants will design and test an activity that uses MTW flexibility to increase housing choices for residents through mobility programs. An increase in housing choice is defined as providing more types and locations for assisted housing in areas where affordable housing may not be many, and may entail geographic mobility programs that result in residents moving to more racially or economically diverse neighborhoods.

The study may encompass public housing, vouchers, or both and may be a subset. The study does not need to encompass the PHA’s entire public housing and/or HCV portfolio, but if a subset of the portfolio is used, HUD requires that the PHA establish statistically valid treatment and control groups that will enable a rigorous evaluation of the activity’soutcomes.

b.            Detailed MTW Block Grant Evaluation – MTW agencies have the ability to combine funds in an “MTW block grant” as set forth in the Definition of Terms in the notice. PHA applicants will be required to propose and design a method that measures and evaluates those aspects of the MTW block grant that result in quantifiable cost savings and other direct measurable outcomes, including additional families served and other quantifiable outputs that support the MTW statutory objectives. The MTW block grant evaluation strategy should make adjustments for any cost increases incurred as a result of the rent reform controlled study and the costs of the MTW block grant evaluation itself, so that an accurate picture of cost savings from streamlining initiatives can be provided.

Date of Publication:  February 28, 2012

View the notice here.

PIH2012-16.pdf270.57 KB