Home / Program Offices / Public and Indian Housing / PIH / Public Housing / Moving To Work (MTW) / Moving to Work (MTW) Statutory Compliance
MTW Statutory Compliance

Throughout participation in the Moving to Work (MTW) Demonstration program, all MTW agencies must continue to meet five statutory requirements established under the Omnibus Consolidated Rescissions and Appropriations Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-134, 110 Stat 1321). All MTW agencies, whether governed by the MTW Agreement or the MTW Operations Notice, are required to maintain compliance with the five statutory requirements of the MTW Demonstration.

Learn more about the five statutory MTW requirements and HUD’s evaluation of compliance below.

MTW Statutory Requirements

Very Low-Income Requirement

MTW agencies must ensure that at least 75 percent of the families assisted are very low-income families, in each fiscal year, as defined in Section 3(b)(2) of the 1937 Act.

The Department utilizes various internal and external data sources to obtain public housing (PH), Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and local, non-traditional (LNT) program data to assess each MTW agency’s compliance with this statutory requirement. Initial certification data recorded in HUD’s IMS/PIC system, compromised only of new admissions to the programs in the given fiscal year, is used for PH and HCV programs. 

An MTW agency’s portfolio is weighted with respect to the number of households being served by each housing program type (i.e., public housing, HCV, and local, non-traditional). While the verification approach for this statutory requirement is conducted based on initial certification in the MTW agency’s given fiscal year, MTW agencies must continue to assist low-income families, which MTW agencies must monitor through the reexamination process.

Statutory compliance will be determined by the Department annually.  At minimum, the agency must be assisting 75 percent of families at or below very low income (VLI) at time of program entry or the agency will receive a compliance determination of non-compliant.

Reasonable Rent Policy Requirement

MTW agencies must establish a reasonable rent policy which shall be designed to encourage employment and self-sufficiency by participating families, consistent with the purpose of this Demonstration, such as by excluding some or all of a family’s earned income for purposes of determining rent.

MTW agencies are required to establish a reasonable rent policy that encourages self-sufficiency, which HUD defines as any change from the regulations in how rent is calculated for a household. Upon designation into the MTW Demonstration, MTW agencies are to submit their planned policy to implement a reasonable rent policy. The Department will work collaboratively with each MTW agency to ensure reasonable rent policy submissions are in accordance with MTW objectives and within an agency’s authority under the available program waivers.

Substantially the Same Requirement

MTW agencies must continue to assist substantially the same total number of eligible low-income families as would have been served absent the MTW Demonstration.

MTW agencies are required to serve substantially the same number of families as would have been served had they not participated in the MTW Demonstration (also referred to as the “Substantially the Same Requirement” or “STS Requirement”). MTW agencies under an MTW Agreement are subject to the STS Requirement methodology outlined in Notice PIH 2013-02 which compares the number of actual families served to an adjusted “baseline” estimate of the number of families that would have been served absent the MTW designation.

MTW agencies designated under the 2016 MTW Expansion Statute are subject to the STS Requirement methodology outlined in Appendix III of the MTW Operations Notice.

In order to accurately monitor the extent to which MTW agencies are meeting the STS Requirement, HUD conducts an analysis of the number of families being served annually by each MTW agency compared to established baselines of families served prior to an agency’s MTW designation. HUD’s annual compliance determination will confirm whether an MTW agency fulfills the STS Requirement in accordance with its applicable methodology.

Comparable Mix Requirement

MTW agencies must maintain a comparable mix of families (by family size) as would have been provided had the amounts not been used under the Demonstration.

In order to assess compliance with this statutory requirement, the Department requires that agencies establish baseline percentages, by family size, to which the agency is measured by for the remainder of participation.  These baseline percentages are established using agency provided data in HUD systems (i.e., IMS/PIC, VMS) and the MTW Form 50900 or MTW Supplement to the Annual PHA Plan, as applicable.  Variations above what the Department deems an acceptable level are required to provide a justification(s) or an explanation(s).

Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Requirement

MTW agencies must ensure that housing assisted under the Demonstration meets HQS established or approved by the Secretary.

In order to ensure that MTW agencies meet the housing quality standards requirement, HUD will verify compliance for each housing program type as follows:

  • HCV - Program regulations at 24 CFR Part 982 set forth basic HQS for housing assisted under the HCV program.  These housing quality standards, or its successor regulations, are the standards used to determine if the agency is fulfilling its responsibilities to ensure owners are maintaining the units is accordance with HQS in the evaluation of an agency.  MTW agencies with an HCV program must certify in the Form 50900 or MTW Supplement to the Annual PHA Plan, as applicable, that they have fulfilled their responsibilities to comply with and ensure enforcement of HQS under this requirement.
  • PH - HUD will verify this requirement through its review of public housing physical inspection scores, weighted by development.  Overall scores falling below 60 percent will be identified as non-compliant with the statutory objective.
  • LNT – Agencies must certify that LNT units meet HQS performance requirements (as provided in 24 CFR 982.401), both at commencement of occupancy and throughout the term of the time restriction on affordable units, in the Annual MTW Report, as per Notice PIH 2011-45 or successor notice.

MTW Statutory Compliance Determinations

The MTW statutory compliance determinations for each agency can be viewed in the MTW Statutory Compliance Determinations Workbook, which will be updated each year.


Last updated November 3, 2022