HUD: Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration Announced

New pilot program aims to break generational cycles of poverty 

Today Secretary Ben Carson announced HUD’s new “Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration,” which aims to measure the impact of housing choice upon the economic condition of low-income families. Secretary Carson made the announcement at a news conference alongside Senator Todd Young, Former Congressman Sean Duffy, and Assistant Secretary Hunter Kurtz. The demonstration announced today is the result of bipartisan legislation co-sponsored by both Young and Duffy.

“As a compassionate country, when we talk about providing support for families in need, we should also talk about how to provide pathways for low-income families seeking opportunity,” said Secretary Carson. “The Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration aims to show how we can empower people by giving them a real choice.”

“All families deserve the chance to live in communities that best suit their needs, but many live in neighborhoods that perpetuate poverty across generations,” said Senator Todd Young. “Our Housing Choice Voucher Mobility program aims to end this cycle and help families relocate to higher opportunity areas with lower crime, better education, and greater access to jobs, transportation, quality healthcare, and suitable housing.”

“It is a rare occurrence in Washington when a Member of Congress gets to see a program they worked so diligently on, finally come to fruition. I believe that people deserve every opportunity they can get to be successful,” said former Congressman Sean Duffy. “This demonstration helps create a path to break the cycle of poverty for low-income families and move to better areas with more opportunity and put them on a path to achieve the American dream. Thank you to everyone who worked on this legislation with me in the House of Representatives and thank you Secretary Carson for your continued work in advancing the lives of our most vulnerable populations.”

“This new initiative will provide thousands of low-income children and their parents new opportunities for upward economic mobility as well as improved health outcomes,” said Hunter Kurtz, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing.

The Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration will allow participating Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) throughout the country to implement housing mobility programs by offering mobility-related services to increase the number of voucher families with children living in opportunity areas. In addition to offering mobility-related services, participating PHAs will work together in their regions to adopt administrative policies that further enable housing mobility, increase landlord participation, and reduce barriers for families to move across PHA jurisdictions through portability.

The Demonstration is authorized and funded through HUD’s 2019 and 2020 Appropriations bills, which provided $40 million for mobility-related services and $10 million for new vouchers for families with children. The 2019 Appropriations bill also makes available $3 million for a research evaluation.

About HUD’s Landlord Task Force 

In 2018, Secretary Carson initiative launched a nationwide campaign to encourage more private-market landlords to participate in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program. Over the past two years, through this initiative, HUD has made significant strides in improving the program for landlords. HUD has talked with hundreds of landlords to better understand challenges they face working with the program. As a result of these conversations, the Department has been exploring opportunities to address these challenges. The HCV Mobility Demonstration will use these lessons learned from Secretary Carson’s task force to recruit more landlords to the HCV program. We anticipate learning even more about how to increase landlord participation through this demonstration as well.

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