This notice is to inform current Housing Choice Voucher and Public Housing participants that Housing Connect intends to participate in the Moving to Work (MTW) Demonstration Program. Currently, there are 39 Moving to Work PHAs nationwide and HUD plans to expand the program to addition 100 PHAs by 2022. Housing Connect will be holding a public hearing on its draft MTW application on November 30th at 10am.
Moving to Work is a demonstration program for Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) that provides them the opportunity to design and test innovative, locally designed strategies that use Federal dollars more efficiently, help residents find employment and become self-sufficient and increase housing choices for low-income families.
Moving to Work also allows PHAs exemptions from many existing public housing and voucher rules and provides funding flexibility with how they use their Federal funds. PHAs in the Moving to Work demonstration have pioneered a number of innovative policy interventions that have been proven successful at the local level, and subsequently rolled out to the rest of the Country’s PHAs.
Housing Connect intends to participate in the Moving to Work Rent Reform Cohort which study’s and tests rent reform. Current rent calculations can be confusing and disincentive increasing income through employment. Under this Cohort, Housing Connect would move away from the traditional 30% of adjusted income rent calculation to a tiered or stepped rent structure. In the Moving to Work Rent Reform Cohort, these alternative rents will only apply to non-elderly, non-disabled households.
In the coming weeks you will be receiving a letter inviting you to a Resident/Participant meeting where we will explain the Moving to Work Demonstration Program in more detail. Your comments on these potential changes will be welcomed and considered. If you have questions please contact us at (801)270-1350.
The title Moving to Work was created by HUD for a new designation to Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) on how HCV and Public Housing works for agencies that receive the designation. The word “Moving” does not mean you need to move. The work “Work” does not mean you need to go to work.
Nothing at this time. The letter you received was a requirement of the process for us to apply to Moving to Work status. As part of our application process we want to ensure that our participants have an opportunity for input. If we are approved for MTW, there will be a 6 to 12 month transition period.
No. You don’t need to do anything different at this time. Your participation in your respective housing program (HCV, PH) continues as normal. Please continue to pay your portion of rent, and meet your other program participation expectations.
The application is due January 8th. We will post information on the website for tenant meetings and a public hearing.
MTW allows Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) exemptions from many existing public housing and voucher rules and provides funding flexibility with how they use their Federal funds. PHAs in the MTW demonstration have pioneered a number of innovative policy interventions that have been proven successful at the local level, and subsequently rolled out to the rest of the Country’s PHAs. Housing Connect intends to participate in the MTW Rent Reform Cohort which studies and tests how rent is determined. Current rent calculations are cumbersome and confusing and can disincentive increasing income through employment. Under this Cohort, Housing Connect would move away from the traditional 30% of adjusted income rent calculation to a tiered or stepped rent structure. In the MTW Rent Reform Cohort, these alternative rents will only apply to non-elderly, non-disabled households.
Housing Connect’s proposal will give incentives to families 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.
• The following households and special purpose groups are excluded from the income and rent component of the program:
o Those with disabilities;
o HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) Vouchers;
o Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program;
o Family Unification Program (FUP) Vouchers;
o Non-Elderly Persons With Disabilities (NED) Vouchers;
o Mainstream Vouchers
One group would be Housing Connect’s current rent structure (i.e., as is), and the second group would be the Stepped Rent. Families would be randomly selected into one of the two groups (control group or test group), and it is income-based – households who have income through wages or families who do not meet the definition of elderly or disabled. Rent would be set for the control group at 30% of adjusted income for the control group, and rent would be set at the test group initially at 30% of gross income. Rent would increase over time based on the bedroom size rather than changes in income.
Under the current rent calculation method, if a household earns $13,000 per year in income, the amount of rent paid by the resident would be $306 per month (which is 30% of the household’s adjusted income). In the Stepped Rent method (once a household qualifies), for an income of $13,000 per year, the rent would be slightly higher ($325 per month – or 30% of gross income), but any increases in income would not change the amount of rent paid.
As an example, if the household income increased to $45,000 per year for that same household, under the current program, it would have its rent adjusted to $1,058 per month, while under the Stepped Rent program, there would be no increase in rent (until the next recertification), and that family would have a cost savings of the difference between $1,058 and $325 (instead of going towards rent).
Housing Connect anticipates that the MTW program would increase income through employment because it doesn’t penalize with an increase in rent as income increases.
As Housing Connect understands it, renters would continue with the stepped rent increase at the 3 year recertification point. Because MTW is a study, Housing Connect will need to collect income data, and possible requirements around verifying household size, but Housing Connect does not have those details yet. Since this is a 6-year program, rent would only go up as per the original stepped rent schedule.
Income would be reported at the triennial re-exam. It was further explained that since this is a study, HUD would want to compare to see how people on the regular programs are doing and to see whether this is a better way to calculate rent and provide affordable housing.
It would be similar to how it works now: One could come in and get a hardship waiver, and Housing Connect would then reduce the person’s rent.
Hardships are based on individual circumstances, and Housing Connect would take that into account.
Rent would initially be calculated on income at the time, and rent would be adjusted for not having income. If awarded MTW & Housing Connect has additional flexibility, it feels it can use some of the federal dollars for supportive services, so the agency would look at employment services as a part of that.
Their rent would increase by the appropriate increment based on bedroom size.
If someone is on a fixed income (Social Security or disability), they would not be part of this study. If someone is at a job where the rent does not increase, their rent would increase, regardless of whether there is an increase in income or not.
As it is understood, under the Stepped Rent program, there would be no deductions. Medical and dependent deductions would not be part of the calculation for rent. It is believed that child support is counted as income. Paying child support is not counted as a deduction in either program (current or proposed).
Call (801)270-1350 for specific questions or feedback. It is staffed with someone available 3 – 4 hours every day, and staff will call back or forward the message to the right person. The Moving To Work hotline is open is 11:00a – 2:00p, and outside of those hours, those who leave messages will be called back.
Another great place to have questions answered is the focus groups. More details to come.