Smart Moves

Boy on his balcony looking at the other homes in his apartment complex

Last year had been a fragile time for Ashley and her 5-year-old daughter, drifting without income through shelters and temporary homes around Seattle, when the word arrived: They were off the waitlist for a housing choice voucher.

With that approval came another offer. The housing authorities of Seattle and King County, Washington, were carrying out a pilot program to help voucher recipients with the legwork of finding new homes. Creating Moves to Opportunity, developed by a team of researchers including Johns Hopkins sociologist Stefanie DeLuca, would provide counseling and financial assistance through all stages of the housing search. Working directly with Ashley, a family navigator would research and suggest neighborhoods that could point her daughter toward better opportunities.

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