A Driving Factor in Mobility? Transportation's Role in Connecting Subsidized Housing and Employment Outcomes in the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) Program

The authors evaluate the role of transportation in improving the employment outcomes of participants in the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) for Fair Housing Voucher Program, a 10-year demonstration project designed to enable low-income families to improve their outcomes by moving out of high-poverty neighborhoods. They use longitudinal data from the MTO program to assess the role of transportation—automobiles and improved access to public transit—in moving to, and maintaining, employment. They use multi-nomial logistic regression to predict changes in employment status as a function of change in automobile availability and transit accessibility, controlling for other potential determinants of employment. The authors find that keeping or gaining access to an automobile is positively related to the likelihood of employment. Improved access to public transit is positively associated with maintaining employment, but not with job gains. Although they cannot say for certain whether car ownership preceded or followed employment, it is clear that having a car provides multiple benefits that facilitate getting and keeping a job. Policies to increase automobile access among low-income households—even in dense urban areas—will most clearly enhance job gain and job retention. While auto programs are unpopular with many planners, they would improve the lives of low-income families who currently have the least access to cars. In addition, supporting moves to transit-rich neighborhoods may help households maintain consistent employment.


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  • Accession Number: 01538378
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 25 2014 9:01AM