Expanding Choice: Practical Strategies for Building a Successful Housing Mobility Program

Poverty & Race Research Action Council, February 2013, available here

“The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, administered by public housing agencies (PHAs) across the country, provides low income households the ability to affordably rent decent housing practically anywhere in the United States.  And yet, they don’t.  Studies have shown that voucher holders are concentrated in a relatively small partion of the neighborhoods with available affordable rental housing.  These neighborhoods are often poorer, more racially segregated, and of lower quality than other neighborhoods; and the schools in these places are often lower performing, with high poverty rates.

Many efforts are already underway to make these neighborhoods better, more livable places.  But, in order to fully exercise their right to housing choice, households also need quality information about all the neighbor-hood and housing options available to them as well as the tools to overcome real and perceived barriers in the private rental market.  This is the important role of a housing mobility program. . . . 

Drawing on the best available research and model programs from across the country, this toolkit is designed to provide practical advice for all these different types of organizations. However, we expect that some chapters or sections will be more relevant to certain types of organizations and that different organizations may use the information differently, depending on their role in their community’s prospective housing mobility program. Please keep this in mind when reading through the toolkit.”

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