Opportunity NYC Demonstrations- Work Rewards

An Evidence-Based Practice


Opportunity NYC includes three separate demonstration projects that help poor families avoid long-term poverty: Family Rewards, Work Rewards, and Spark. Each project involves linking temporary cash payments (called cash transfers) to actions and achievements. It is currently being tested in six districts in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, NY that house predominantly impoverished Black and Latino residents.

The Work Rewards program’s primary objective is to increase the workforce efforts of low-income adults living in subsidized housing. The program targets individuals who receive Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the New York City Housing Authority. The program builds on the concept of mutual responsibility. Individuals are only awarded monetary payments if they meet certain workforce-related conditions. Such conditions include sustaining full-time employment and participating in approved education or job training while working either part time or full time.

Support for this program is provided by numerous foundations and private funders.

Goal / Mission

The goal of this program was to increase the workforce efforts of low-income adults living in subsidized housing.

Results / Accomplishments

MDRC is currently conducting a randomized controlled trial evaluation involving 3,987 Section 8 recipients to assess short and long-term impacts of the program. Labor-related and other outcomes will be tracked over five years.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
James Riccio
19th Floor
16 East 34 Street
New York, NY 10016-4326
(212) 532-3200
Economy / Poverty
Economy / Employment
Mayor Bloomberg’s Center for Economic Opportunity
Date of publication
Mar 2010
Date of implementation
Geographic Type
New York City
For more details
Target Audience
Additional Audience
Section 8 Recipients