HUD has provided a path forward for a first-in-the-nation partnership between Minnesota’s largest public housing authorities: the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) and the Metropolitan Council Housing and Redevelopment Authority (Metro HRA). HUD stated that they are supportive in concept of the two PHAs forming the nation’s first Regional Moving to Work (MTW) partnership and has allowed the partners to move forward with the planning and implementation process. If officially approved by HUD, MPHA and Metro HRA’s partnership will be the first such arrangement in the nation.
MPHA and Metro HRA will combine efforts to make it easier for families with housing vouchers to move where they wish across the metro area, including to neighborhoods they feel offer the best chance for economic success.
Initially, the partners expect to establish a shared pool of Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers and combine their administrative muscle to streamline processes and help families achieve geographic and economic mobility. Other metro area housing agencies could later choose to join the partnership. Together, MPHA and Metro HRA serve more than 44,000 people in the Twin Cities through federal, subsidized housing programs.
“Today, low-income families with a voucher who want to move for better opportunity, employment, or affordability run into invisible lines and hurdles that make it much harder than it should be,” said MPHA Interim Executive Director Tracey Scott in a press release. “Now MPHA and Metro HRA will be able to try things no one in the country has tried before to lower those barriers and empower families to meet their goals.”
In a statement from the MTW Collaborative, MTW Collaborative President and CLPHA Board Member Andrew Lofton, said of MPHA and Metro HRA’s announcement:
“Today we celebrate a first-of-its-kind achievement under the Moving to Work demonstration. MTW agencies are widely recognized as experts and innovators when it comes to developing creative solutions to serve and provide housing for their residents and broader communities. Minneapolis PHA continues to be a leader in examining and testing new ways to achieve greater efficiency, expanded choice, and increased economic opportunity for participants – lessons that will benefit the entire industry. MTW is a powerful tool for change and this new regional partnership in Minneapolis represents what can be achieved when local communities can develop solutions to their local challenges.”