The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced this week that three cities in Florida will be part of the Asset Building cohort as it expands the Moving to Work (MTW) Demonstration Program.

“Through this cohort, HUD will evaluate asset building activities that encourage the creation and growth of savings accounts and/or aim to build credit, through rent reporting, for assisted households. HUD will first call a community of practice of the selected agencies to discuss and develop these policies for implementation and evaluation,” HUD Noted. “This cohort is a key component of HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge’s economic justice agenda: ‘Bridging the Wealth Gap.’ The agenda focuses on asset building through increased savings, access to mainstream banking, and credit score improvement. By integrating asset building, anti-poverty policies can more directly facilitate economic stability for millions of Americans.”

“I am so excited to announce our newest cohort of PHAs in the Moving to Work Demonstration program,” said Fudge. “This cohort will create environments for low-income renters to better their credit scores, access bank accounts, and save for the future. And, most importantly, this cohort will have the flexibility to develop solutions that meet the needs of their unique communities.”

The cities of Lakeland, Sanford and West Palm Beach are part of the almost 20 cities selected by HUD to be part of the cohort.

“First authorized by Congress in 1996, MTW is a demonstration that provides public housing authorities (PHAs) the opportunity to redefine how they operate by giving them flexibility to try ‘outside the box’ ideas that address local community needs in innovative ways. MTW allows PHAs the flexibility to create customized solutions to their community’s specific challenges. With the addition of the 18 PHAs selected for this cohort, HUD will have added a total of 87 PHAs to the MTW Demonstration Program since January 2021. MTW PHAs are now in 40 states and the District of Columbia,” HUD noted. “MTW encourages an entrepreneurial spirit to think of and create solutions in a new way. MTW agencies have directly influenced national policy for over 25 years, paving the way for the future delivery of federally assisted housing. PHAs in the MTW demonstration have pioneered several innovative policy interventions that have been successful at the local level, and subsequently rolled out to the rest of the country’s PHAs. Examples include requiring less frequent recertifications for those on a fixed income, increasing payment standards for the reasonable accommodation of persons with disabilities, and allowing the owners to maintain site-based waiting lists for project-based vouchers.”

Kevin Derby
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