|HUD R3 No.12-26
December 18, 2012
FAIRFAX COUNTY REDEVELOPMENT AND HOUSING AUTHORITY SELECTED FOR ELITE PROGRAM TO IMPROVE FEDERAL RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
One of four public housing authorities to gain distinct status
PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Housing and Urban Development Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Jane C.W. Vincent announced today that the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) in Virginia has been selected to participate in HUD's Moving to Work (MTW) program. The MTW program is designed to provide local housing authorities with added flexibility to create and test innovative strategies to use federal funding more efficiently to assist families either living in public housing or who are assisted through HUD's Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program.
"This program will support the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority in its efforts to implement a plan that will set low-income families on a path to independence," said Vincent. "The housing authority is already taking a detailed look at methods to reform the current use of rental assistance to maximize savings and to increase the program's effectiveness."
HUD's MTW program has given selected housing agencies the opportunity to create and study original, locally-developed housing and self-sufficiency strategies that encourage public housing or HCV families to become self-sufficient. HUD selected these housing agencies for this innovative program that Congress authorized in 1996 through a competitive process. Congress authorized four additional designations in 2011 and 2010.
The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority is one of four authorities chosen from among a dozen that applied for MTW designation earlier this year. Public housing authorities in Columbus, Ga.; Holyoke, Mass., and Reno, Nev. were also named today. There are 35 other MTW across the U.S. that have flexibility to use their federal funds to help families "move to work" by providing incentives such as job training and educational programs that lead to employment and, ultimately, self-sufficiency.
The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) has a vision to reinvent the way it does business through its MTW status by connecting individuals and families to the services they need to overcome barriers to success.
Specifically, FCRHA seeks to create a housing continuum that allows individuals and families to move from homelessness to subsidized housing, to moderately-priced living, and finally away from housing assistance. The continuum will meet the residents where they are and provide a clear path and motivation to move forward. In addition, the model will provide shallower subsidy as residents move towards self-sufficiency, therefore allowing more individuals to be served with the same limited resources. The controlled rent reform study will be a key piece of the housing continuum, as the alternate rent setting structure will allow FCRHA to gradually move residents from high levels of assistance and access to services to greater levels of independence.
In addition, FCRHA proposes to conduct a detailed evaluation of the MTW block grant. The evaluation will quantify how savings are achieved through streamlining initiatives and then point those savings to fill gaps in the MTW program. The evaluation will quantify the extent to which fundability will allow FCRHA to effectively administer programs. FCRHA has established partnerships with George Mason University to evaluate both the rent reform and block grant evaluations.
Ultimately, the program aims to make HUD's largest rental assistance programs more cost effective while providing families with children additional housing choices and incentives to move toward economic self-sufficiency.
HUD is the nation’s housing agency committed to sustaining homeownership; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.