HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 12-28
Rhonda Siciliano (617) 994-8355
Elizabeth Montaquila (617) 994-8214
For Release
December 18, 2012

Holyoke housing authority one of four public housing authorities to gain distinct status

BOSTON - U.S. Housing and Urban Development New England Regional Administrator Barbara Fields announced today that the Holyoke Housing Authority of Holyoke, MA 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'sHousing Choice Voucher (HCV) program.

"The Holyoke Housing Authority is already forging community partnerships and exploring new and exciting ways to more effectively utilize HUD's rental assistance programs," said Fields. "Holyoke will join the other MTW agencies across the country in the mission to empower low-income families to achieve self-sufficiency."

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 Holyoke Housing Authority is one of four authorities chosen from among a dozen that applied for MTW designation earlier this year. Public housing authorities in Fairfax, VA; Columbus, GA, and Reno, NV 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.

Despite the small size of the Holyoke Housing Authority's (HHA) inventory of public housing and Housing Choice Vouchers, the agency has shown innovation in both development and energy efficiencies, demonstrating that it is well situated to be an MTW agency. Key elements of HHA's MTW program include: increasing the number of HHA residents who are working or actively engaged in educational/job training; implementing incentives for resident economic self-sufficiency; increasing high school graduation rates and improving educational attainment; reducing homelessness; supporting sustainable development and community-wide neighborhood revitalization efforts; streamlining and reducing the cost of HHA operations; and leveraging non-HUD resources to respond to the housing and related service needs of Holyoke's low-income households.

HHA commits to a controlled rent reform study to analyze its Career Advancement Program (CAP). This program pairs access to job training with the ability to disregard portions of earned income as participants establish their careers. HHA also commits to conduct a detailed evaluation of the block grant that will design a method to quantify effects and savings of the MTW program. HHA has engaged a team from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (UMass) to evaluate both studies. HHA believes that this partnership will benefit the agency, the university and the industry, as it will ensure that a statistically viable study design is established at the outset of the activities. The UMass team will also work with HHA in measuring other aspects of its MTW program.

Ultimately, the program aims to make HUD's largest rental assistance programs more cost effective, while providing families with children more housing choices and incentives to move toward economic self-sufficiency.


HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing asa platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at and You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.


Content Archived: April 8, 2014