Witnesses testified before the House subcommittee on housing and insurance that the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Moving to Work program is the best solution to help families in public housing achieve self-sufficiency.
Established in 1996, Moving to Work is a program that provides public housing authorities with the ability to design and test strategies aimed at helping residents find jobs and gain independence.
“HUD’s Moving to Work program is an important tool that allows flexibility in administering housing programs on a local, individualized manner,” Subcommittee Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer said. “The Obama Administration has recognized the successes of the program and has publicly called for its ‘substantial expansion.’ HUD has indicated that the program has seen a reduction in costs and yet an increase in the number of families served. Nevertheless, there are many more that are still waiting for assistance.”
The program aims to increase housing choices for low-income families, encourage households with children to participate in educational programs and job training to become self-sufficient and to improve cost-effectiveness in federal expenditure.
Gene Reed, the executive director of the Abilene Housing Authority of Texas, said the program helps to reduce costs while allowing for much-needed reform.
“Overall, Moving to Work can provide public housing authorities with the ability to remove policies and practices that are mundane, outdated, and in need of reform given our current funding situation,” Reed said. “Moving to Work provides Public Housing Authorities with a more business-like model that enables public housing authorities to address the current local needs.”