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Choice Mobility and the Mobility Demonstration

Jim Armstrong, PHADA Policy Analyst

In recent weeks, HUD has taken steps concerning a mobility demonstration authorized and funded by Congress in 2019 and 2020, and in evaluating the impact of the choice mobility option in Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) conversions.

 

The Mobility Demonstration

In 2019, Congress authorized a mobility demonstration and appropriated $5 million for additional Housing Choice Vouchers, $20 million for services that support mobility services for participants and the operation of regional mobility programs, and $3 million to support research and evaluation of the mobility demonstration. The authorization addressed several concerns PHADA expressed with initial proposals detailed in the April 3, 2019 Advocate. In 2020, Congress appropriated an additional $25 million for the demonstration, for a total of approximately $50 million.

Congress left significant demonstration design decisions to HUD although the authorization did establish that:

  • Single agencies will be ineligible to participate. Demonstration participants must include more than one program administrator and be regional in character,
  • Program participants must be families with young children, and participants must be selected randomly, and
  • Selection of participating agencies in the demonstration must be competitive.

In a recent conference call, leadership of the Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) indicated that the Department will publish a mobility demonstration notice (probably of funding availability or NOFA) in the near future. That notice will announce HUD’s plans concerning the number of participating agencies, its criteria for selecting regional voucher programs, the selection of program participants, and details of program design. PHADA will publish its analysis of HUD’s notice shortly after its publication.

 

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