Housing Industry Partners Together to Release Study of Performance Measures for Moving to Work Agencies

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Performance findings from the Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation (PAHRC)'s first comparative study of Moving to Work (MTW) Agencies.

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The industry is coming together because MTW is transforming housing by creating a culture of innovation that integrates with local housing strategies to improve life outcomes. This study provides insights and data-driven evidence for the benefits MTW programs deliver.

The Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation (PAHRC) at HAI Group, released a new study on Testing Performance Measures for the MTW Program. This empirical study was conducted by global leader in research, Abt Associates, and is the first aggregate data analysis of the performance of MTW demonstration since the program began. The MTW program provides housing agencies with the flexibility to design and test innovative, local strategies that use funds more efficiently, help residents become economically self-sufficient, and increase housing choices for low-income families. The study develops a set of agency-wide performance measures and compares the outcomes of MTW agencies to peer agencies that are not part of the MTW program but are similar in service population, rental market, local economic conditions, region and size.

The study finds that while there is great variation among MTW agencies, the group as a whole is doing better than their peers on outcomes related to the statutory goals of the MTW program; particularly, increasing housing choice and improving self-sufficiency.

The wide variation in agency goals and initiatives contribute to a sometimes small performance edge as do difficult to quantify policy trade-offs implemented by agencies that lead to slightly lower outcome scores than their peers in some cases. The flexibilities of the MTW program allow agencies to make such localized decisions to better serve their community and plan for future housing needs. The study also emphasizes that as a whole, MTW agencies are meeting the requirements of the public housing program, even though they are not required to do so. While the study does develop and use performance measures, it also makes note of the limits of standard measures, especially given the specialized nature of local programs.

The Testing Performance Measures for the MTW Program study was commissioned by PAHRC, and sponsored by the leading housing industry associations in the nation including HAI Group, the Council of Large Public Housing Agencies (CLPHA), the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association (PHADA), and the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO). A committee of MTW agencies also provided guidance throughout the study.

“As a sponsor of this research, we have seen the housing industry rally together in joint support of the MTW program,” said HAI Group President and Chief Executive Officer, Ed Malaspina. “The industry is coming together because MTW is transforming housing by creating a culture of innovation that integrates with local housing strategies to improve life outcomes. This study provides insights and data-driven evidence for the benefits MTW programs deliver. It also proves that the MTW demonstration is an important tool for preserving public housing. To continue to achieve the desired benefits and desired outcomes of the MTW program we must recognize the need to protect the most important aspect, which is its flexibility.”

Andrew Lofton, Executive Director of the Seattle Housing Authority, a MTW agency, said that, “The findings of this study show what many already know; MTW works. The results are timely, as Congress has authorized HUD to add 100 new housing agencies to the MTW program, expanding beyond the current 39 MTW participants. Using data already available to HUD, we are able to compare the performance of MTW agencies compared to similar non-MTW agencies across a set of key performance metrics.” He continued, “We see that MTW agencies generally perform on par with or better than their non-MTW counterparts while also providing a variety of innovative programs and services that meet the needs of their local community.”

The Testing Performance Measures for the MTW Program study in its entirety and executive summary form are available at http://www.housingcenter.com/research/mtw. Also available here are links to a companion study Innovations in the Moving to Work Demonstration, also sponsored by HAI Group and its industry partners and conducted by Abt Associates, that systematically explores the number and types of innovations implemented by current MTW agencies, and finds that MTW agencies are engaged in a number of innovative new practices designed to improve their communities.

About HAI Group
HAI Group is a family of companies founded by and dedicated to serving the public and affordable housing community. We deliver innovative, tailor-made solutions to protect housing assets, mitigate risks, and move housing strategies forward. The Company’s continued growth since 1987 and diversification into areas where members have identified needs demonstrates the Company’s commitment to their more than 1,400 stakeholders. HAI Group’s portfolio includes insurance, research, advocacy, learning and capital solutions. Headquartered in Cheshire, Connecticut, HAI Group’s membership extends across the United States. For more information, visit http://www.housingcenter.com.

About The Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation
The Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation (PAHRC) at HAI Group is a nonprofit research center dedicated to conducting research that promotes the national conversation about the importance of affordable housing. Through industry collaboration, data collection, and independent research, PAHRC spotlights the impact, outcomes and value affordable housing brings to the families it serves and to the communities it supports. PAHRC also delivers data and tools that assist researchers, practitioners, and advocates to build an evidence-based case for why affordable housing matters. For more information about HAI Group’s independent, non-profit research center, please visit http://www.housingcenter.com/research.

About Abt Associates
Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research, evaluation and implementing programs in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates is regularly ranked as one of the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 international development innovators. The company has multiple offices in the U.S. and program offices in more than 40 countries. For more information, visit http://www.abtassociates.com.

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Jessica Elle Rosa
HAI Group
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