All You Need to Know About the Moving to Work Program

Oct 6, 2021

At Portage Metropolitan Housing Authority, we strive to provide affordable housing for families and individuals alike. Part of our initiative to do so comes through the Moving to Work program, which allows us the opportunity to design and test innovative, locally-designed strategies, which use federal dollars more efficiently, help residents become more self sufficient, and increase housing choices for low-income families. 

Learn more about what the Moving to Work (MTW) program is, its benefits, and how MTW can help you and your family.

What Is the Moving to Work Program?

The MTW program is a federal demonstration program – this program is designed by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in order to develop, test, and implement new strategies. Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) that are part of the MTW demonstration, such as Portage Metropolitan Housing Authority, have exemptions from many existing Public Housing and voucher rules, and more flexibility in usage of federal funds, thereby allowing the PHA to better address local community needs.

How the Moving to Work Program Can Help You

PMHA’s Moving to Work initiatives can benefit individuals and families in the Public Housing Program and Housing Choice Voucher Program. Here are some of the initiatives included in the Portage Metropolitan Housing Authority’s MTW plan: 

Public Housing Program

  • MTW homeownership voucher program to include transfers from Public Housing and assistance to existing homeowners in foreclosure 
  • Initial rent burden cap to 50% of adjusted monthly income 
  • Rent adjustment for income decreases of less than $1000 or lasting under 30 days are not processed until the next annual recertification 
  • PMHA to operate two group homes as public housing 
  • Changes in employment income are not processed until the next annual recertification (for increases) 
  • Residents paying ceiling rents may self-certify income 
  • Scattered site transfer for selected qualified households 

Housing Choice Voucher Program

  • Maximum rent set at less than 30% of gross monthly income 
  • Project-based voucher program to assist non-profits and developers to increase housing choices for low-income households 
  • Protecting tenants living in foreclosed rental properties
  • Changes in employment income are not processed until the next annual recertification (for increases) 

Moving to Work with Portage Metropolitan Housing Authority

PMHA has participated in MTW for over 20 years – since its inception in 1999 – and is currently one of only two Public Housing Authorities in Ohio that are part of the MTW demonstration. PMHA’s participation in the demonstration has been extended through the year 2028. 

Over the past few years, PMHA has proposed several new features to our MTW Plan. These features include: 

  • Changes in efficiencies in calculating Public Housing total tenant payments (2018)
  • Providing a monetary incentive to recruit new Section 8 landlords (2019)
  • Providing protection to tenants living in foreclosed properties owned by the Portage County Land Bank (2020)
  • Public Housing scattered site transfers for residents with positive rental histories (2019)
  • An offender reentry initiative (2019) 
  • Self-certification of income verifications for housing programs participants (2021)
  • Changes in efficiencies for Social Security and SSI income processing (2021)

PMHA aims to better address local community needs with flexibility; with the additional capabilities offered by Moving to Work, PMHA is able to serve 5% more families than it would have otherwise.

To learn more and to read about PMHA programs and the MTW demonstration, click here

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PMHA welcomes your questions, comments and requests.

2832 State Route 59
Ravenna, OH 44266
(330) 297-1489

info@portagehousing.org