Moving to Work

Since May 1999, as a participant in HUD's Moving To Work (MTW) demonstration, the Housing Authority of the County of Tulare has been operating a program of flat rents in its public housing and fixed subsidies in its voucher programs. Families participating in the MTW program either pay a fixed rent for public housing or receive a fixed subsidy for voucher. Because rents are not tied to income, MTW participants are able to keep the full amount of any extra earnings they make while on the program. However, assistance is terminated when a family's income reaches 120 percent of the area median or after five years in the program, whichever comes first.

Families have the option of Housing Authority owned public housing units as they become available, or voucher rental assistance. Public housing applicants will have to pass normal screening procedures, and, if housed, pay a flat rental amount based on the unit bedroom size. Rents will be evaluated annually and increased only as needed to cover operating costs, but not by more than 10% in any one year.

Voucher families receive a flat rental subsidy amount, depending on the unit size the family qualifies for, or the actual unit size rented, whichever is smaller. Families pay the difference between the rent charged by the landlord and the flat subsidy amount. The Housing Authority inspects units to be sure that they meet Housing Quality Standards and that the rent is reasonable.

Either public housing or voucher families who have members who are not citizens or eligible aliens have an increased flat rent amount or decreased subsidy amount of $25 per ineligible family member.

All new families admitted from the waiting list are admitted under MTW rules, except for the elderly and disabled, who are exempted. The Housing Authority is also offering its current public housing and voucher tenants the option to transfer to the MTW program at the time of recertification.

Incomes will be verified annually for statistical purposes only, but will not affect rental or subsidy amounts. Interim redeterminations and utility allowances are eliminated. Hardship situations will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

MTW gives participants the opportunity to save as their incomes rise, thus providing an incentive to seek out employment or better jobs. The five-year time limit on assistance also increases the impetus for families to gain employment and self-sufficiency skills, so that they will be able to afford alternative housing once their assistance is terminated. The time limits also reinforce the notion that rental assistance is not a lifetime benefit but a helping hand to families as they move toward employment and self-sufficiency. The Housing Authority hopes that at the end of five years, families will have earned and saved enough to purchase a home.

MTW Flat Rent Amount
MTW Subsidy Amount

For more information on this program, visit the following links: (Some links require Adobe Acrobat Reader)

HUD Public & Indian Housing MTW web site
Testing New Approaches in Public Housing
Quarterly Moving to Work Statistics
ABT Monitoring Reports:
2000 Moving to Work Report
2001 Moving to Work Report
2002 Moving to Work Report
2003 Moving to Work Report
2004 Moving to Work Report
Articles on Tulare County's Moving to Work Program:
Ideas and Trends: Affordable Housing
Time for a New Model
Time Limits in Public Housing
Merritt Capitol's Opinion
Means Testing: Poverty Trap?
The Problem Is the Rent Structure

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