In April 2021, the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) announced the nine lead public housing authorities (PHAs) that will participate in HUD’s new Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Mobility Demonstration. Through this Demonstration, these sites will provide over 10,000 families with children better access to low-poverty neighborhoods with high-performing schools and other strong community resources. Participating regions represent diverse housing markets, population sizes, local laws regarding source-of-income nondiscrimination, and experiences implementing housing mobility programs.

The Demonstration builds upon recent research that shows that growing up in neighborhoods with lower levels of poverty improves children’s academic achievement and long-term chances of success and reduces intergenerational poverty. Children who move to low-poverty neighborhoods have also been shown to experience lower rates of hospitalizations, lower hospital spending, and some changes in mental health over the long-term. Adults given the chance to move to low-poverty neighborhoods also experience health benefits, including reductions in obesity and diabetes.

The HCV Mobility Demonstration will support selected PHAs in addressing barriers to accessing housing choice by offering mobility-related services to increase the number of voucher families with children living in opportunity areas. In addition to offering mobility-related services, participating PHAs will work together in their regions to adopt administrative policies that further enable housing mobility, increase property owner participation, and reduce barriers for families to move across PHA jurisdictions.

The Demonstration will face a rigorous, independent evaluation to determine what services are most effective at helping families move to opportunity areas. HUD also intends to make materials developed for the demonstration available to all PHAs for use in their own communities.