What & Why Housing Mobility

What is Housing Mobility?

Housing mobility programs help low-income families with Housing Choice Vouchers make voluntary moves out of poor, segregated neighborhoods into low-poverty communities with high-performing schools, so that these families don’t have to struggle with the moving process.

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Vouchers help with rent, but many families with vouchers struggle to access good neighborhoods. Some may not know how to go beyond word of mouth about available rentals when researching areas. Others face discrimination from landlords during their search. So the vouchers recipients often end up concentrated in poor, distressed and segregated neighborhoods with low-performing schools.

Many efforts are underway to make these neighborhoods better places to live. But, to fully exercise their right to housing choice, families also need quality information about all the housing options available to them as well as the tools to overcome barriers to using their voucher.

Why Housing Mobility?

Where children live is important to their well-being: high poverty, segregated neighborhoods endanger kids; while low poverty, diverse neighborhoods help them thrive. The evidence backs this up.

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Successful housing mobility programs in Baltimore, Dallas and Chicago have helped move thousands of children out of violent areas with toxic stresses. Once they moved to safer neighborhoods with high-performing, economically mixed schools, their test scores improved.

Studies have shown that kids who participated in mobility programs grew up to make more money and have fewer health problems. Meanwhile, voucher families without mobility programs face limited housing choices. This is especially true for black and Hispanic families, who are more likely than white voucher holders to live in poor, high-crime neighborhoods.

Our Process

1. Mobility programs provide the information and tools clients need to access desirable neighborhoods.

2. They reach out to landlords in those areas and offer counseling to help their clients get a lease.

3. Then, the programs offer support services over the course of the lease to make sure the families can stay.

Housing Mobility Programs Give Voucher Holders Access To:

More Choices

Voucher holders in mobility programs get a chance to find, healthy communities instead of often being limited to high-poverty, high-crime neighborhoods with low-performing schools.

“My kids have a chance to go to good schools and grow in a good positive community.”
– Housing Mobility Participant

Safe Environments

In areas where there is concentrated poverty, crime is higher. Helping families move to safer neighborhoods reduces their stress and creates pathways for their success.

Good Schools

Schools in wealthier neighborhoods often have more resources. Their students tend to perform well on standardized tests and continue on to college.

Better Jobs

Employers like thriving neighborhoods. Moving to these neighborhoods helps voucher families find jobs that pay better and are close to home.

Healthier Lives

Families that move into low-poverty neighborhoods have lower rates of depression, diabetes, asthma and extreme obesity. Housing mobility helps families find housing in neighborhoods that lead to better health.