Moving to Opportunity (MTO) is a major randomized housing mobility experiment sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Starting in 1994, MTO provided 4,600 low-income families with children living in public housing within some of the most disadvantaged urban neighborhoods in the nation the chance to move to private-market housing in much less distressed communities. Families were randomly assigned to one of three groups: a group offered a housing voucher that could only be used to move to a low-poverty neighborhood, a group offered a traditional Section 8 housing voucher, and a control group.
In 2002, MTO families were interviewed for an evaluation 4 to 7 years after random assignment. From 2008 to 2010, MTO families were interviewed for the 10-to-15 year evaluation of the program. The evaluations focused on the effects of MTO on adults and children, how these effects evolved over time, and the mechanisms through which these effects occur. More information can be found at http://www2.nber.org/mtopublic/.
In 2011, a team from NBER led by Lawrence Katz, Jens Ludwig, and Lisa Sanbonmatsu submitted a comprehensive report about the demonstration to HUD. Researchers at NBER and elsewhere have continued to publish research informed by the experiment.