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The Importance of Integrating Rigorous Research Objectives Into Any Reauthorization of the "Moving to Work" Demonstration

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Abstract:

Jon Baron is executive director of the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy, a project sponsored by the Council for Excellence in Government. Jeffrey Lubell is the executive director of the Center for Housing Policy. The Moving to Work (MTW) Demonstration was launched in 1996 to test different approaches for helping families with children make progress toward self-sufficiency and improving efficiency in the public housing and Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher programs. Should the demonstration be reauthorized, the paper stresses that it is imperative that it be designed and funded in such a way as to learn real, validated lessons about which approaches are most effective for helping families make progress toward self-sufficiency and achieving the other goals of the demonstration. To this end, the demonstration’s research objectives should be integrated into the core fabric of the demonstration and adequate funding should be provided to ensure that an evaluation can be conducted utilizing the highest professional standards.