Header Image for Print
Dataset Banner Image

Moving To Opportunity (MTO)


    • MTO is a unique random assignment research effort sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

    • This demonstration was designed to help very low-income families with children living in public housing or Section 8 project-based housing in extremely poor neighborhoods relocate to “opportunity neighborhoods” for greater self-sufficiency and improved individual and family well-being.

    • The MTO demonstration ran in five large cities -- Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York -- between September 1994 and August 1998.

    • A total of 4,608 families enrolled in the MTO demonstration and were randomly assigned. The demonstration combined Section 8 rental assistance with intensive housing search and counseling services to ease families' relocation to low-poverty communities and help them become self-sufficient.



    • The National Bureau of Economic Research served as HUD’s contractor in conducting the final evaluation, and has posted a webpage with multiple MTO resources here.

    • A public use file has been posted with the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) here to permit replication of MTO final results published in the journal Science.

    • A restricted use file of data underlying the interim report is also available to some researchers at ICPSR and is further described here.

    • (MTO) restricted access datasets (RAD) that repackaged multiple waves of MTO data to make them more accessible for future research are also accessible through the Census Bureau as described here. To learn more about how to access to restricted-use Census Bureau Microdata, please visit the Census webpage here.

The Final and Interim reports from the demonstration are available at www.huduser.gov/portal/publications/pubasst/MTOFHD.html, and www.huduser.gov/portal/publications/fairhsg/mtoFinal.html, respectively.

For additional reports, publications, and other information on the MTO demonstration, please visit our MTO publications page.