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The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

  • Brownfields
  • Volume 12 Number 3

The Prospects for Guiding Housing Choice Voucher Households to High-Opportunity Neighborhoods

Kirk McClure

As with the articles in this issue, this introduction reflects the views of the authors and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


The Housing Choice Voucher Program seeks to do more than help poor households lease good-quality rental housing. One of the program's goals is to help poor households break out of the cycle of poverty by locating in neighborhoods with numerous opportunities for gainful employment, good schools, and racial and ethnic integration. The Moving to Opportunity (MTO) for Fair Housing program showed that, with constrained choice, households will locate in low-poverty neighborhoods. If the MTO model were to be used on a larger scale, would enough neighborhoods be available to offer good housing, employment, and educational opportunities?

Examination of census block groups across the nation suggests that the supply of highopportunity neighborhoods may not be as large as desired; there are simply too few ideal neighborhoods and affordable units. By relaxing the objectives, however, and focusing on poverty deconcentration and perhaps expanding the use of HUD's procedure that grants exception rents above the Fair Market Rent limits, a more ample supply of target neighborhoods and rental units could become available.

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