Evaluating Policy Decisions with Demographic Data: Evidence from the Moving to Opportunity Study

William A.V. Clark, University of California, Los Angeles

The Moving to Opportunity program was initiated by The Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1992 to test the efficacy of housing vouchers for generating moves away from low poverty areas and into integrated residential settings. The experimental program divided voucher holders into groups and tracked the movement behavior of assisted and unassisted recipients. By examining the neighborhood demography of the initial and subsequent locations of the samples it is possible to assess the success of the objectives of decreasing poverty and increasing integration. While the program has shown some success in decreasing poverty the same is not true for increasing integration. The rather somber conclusions are that it appears to be relatively difficult to intervene in such dynamic processes as housing selection and mobility to create policy outcomes.

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Presented in Session 96: Applied Demography with a Neighborhood Perspective