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Moving to Opportunity
Volume 14 Number 2
Managing Editor: Mark D. Shroder
Associate Editor: Michelle P. Matuga

MTO: A Successful Housing Intervention

Jennifer Comey, Susan J. Popkin, Kaitlin Franks, Urban Institute


At its core, Moving to Opportunity (MTO) was a housing intervention offering public housing families tenant-based vouchers to move to the private market. Giving families vouchers resulted in better quality housing for them 10 to 15 years later, potentially contributing to the physical and mental health improvements of those who participated in MTO. Using a triangulated, multisource strategy, we find that two-thirds of all MTO households still receive housing assistance. The Section 8 group experienced higher rates of doubling up, although the MTO intervention had no effect on housing cost burdens. The experimental group experienced material hardship, making tradeoffs between paying their rent on time and paying utilities.

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