Asset Building Cohort a Key Component of Secretary Fudge’s Economic Justice Agenda
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on September 27, 2022 announced the Asset Building cohort of the expansion of the Moving to Work (MTW) Demonstration Program. Through this cohort, HUD will evaluate asset building activities that encourage the creation and growth of savings accounts and/or aim to build credit, through rent reporting, for assisted households. HUD will first call a community of practice of the selected agencies to discuss and develop these policies for implementation and evaluation.
This cohort is a key component of HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge’s economic justice agenda: Bridging the Wealth Gap. The agenda focuses on asset building through increased savings, access to mainstream banking, and credit score improvement. By integrating asset building, anti-poverty policies can more directly facilitate economic stability for millions of Americans.
“I am so excited to announce our newest cohort of PHAs in the Moving to Work Demonstration program,” said Secretary Fudge. “This cohort will create environments for low-income renters to better their credit scores, access bank accounts, and save for the future. And, most importantly, this cohort will have the flexibility to develop solutions that meet the needs of their unique communities.”
In April of 2022, HUD published PIH Notice 2022-11 seeking applications for the Asset Building Cohort of the MTW Expansion. The notice laid out the process by which PHAs with 6,000 or less combined units of public housing and HCV units would be selected for the Asset Building Cohort.
First authorized by Congress in 1996, MTW is a demonstration that provides public housing authorities (PHAs) 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 allows PHAs the flexibility to create customized solutions to their community’s specific challenges. With the addition of the 18 PHAs selected for this cohort, HUD will have added a total of 87 PHAs to the MTW Demonstration Program since January 2021. MTW PHAs are now in 40 states and the District of Columbia.
MTW encourages an entrepreneurial spirit to think of and 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. PHAs in the MTW demonstration have pioneered several innovative policy interventions that have been successful at the local level, and subsequently rolled out to the rest of the country’s PHAs. Examples include requiring less frequent recertifications for those on a fixed income, increasing payment standards for the reasonable accommodation of persons with disabilities, and allowing the owners to maintain site-based waiting lists for project-based vouchers.
MTW gives PHAs the freedom to design and test local strategies, to be innovative and creative when designing and implementing policies and programs; and to come up with solutions that meet the needs of the PHA, their community, and most importantly the families they serve. The following PHAs were selected for the Asset Building cohort:
|CA||Santa Cruz||Housing Authority of the County of Santa Cruz|
|CT||Bristol||Housing Authority of the City of Bristol|
|FL||West Palm Beach||West Palm Beach Housing Authority|
|FL||Lakeland||Housing Authority of Lakeland|
|FL||Sanford||Sanford Housing Authority|
|IA||Grinnell||Grinnell Low Rent Housing Authority|
|ID||Twin Falls||Twin Falls Housing Authority|
|IL||Springfield||Springfield Housing Authority|
|MA||Medford||Medford Housing Authority|
|ME||Bangor||Bangor Housing Authority|
|MI||Grand Rapids||Grand Rapids Housing Commission|
|NH||Concord||Concord Housing & Redevelopment|
|NH||Bedford||New Hampshire Housing|
|NJ||Madison||Madison Housing Authority|
|OH||Medina||Medina Metropolitan Housing Authority|
|OR||Oregon City||Housing Authority of Clackamas County|
|OR||Salem||Salem Housing Authority|
|SC||Barnwell||South Carolina Regional Housing Authority #3|