Reason for Residential Move

Why is this important?

Residential mobility, or moving, for an average household depends on a wide array of push and pull factors. In general, push factors are negative reasons for a residential move associated with the place a household is seeking to leave. Pull factors are positive reasons associated with potential destinations [i]. This push-pull relationship generally explains the average US household’s housing cycle where households are motivated by pull factors like a higher quality neighborhood or larger home, a move for a new job, or having the resources to create a new household; however, these decision-making factors may not hold true for everyone, especially low-income households. Households with fewer resources have many more things pushing them to move than the average household [i]. These households may have to move to decrease housing costs in a constrained housing market with increasing costs, a pull factor. Moves may also be driven by involuntary displacement, both private and government, including eviction, being asked or forced to leave by a landlord, foreclosure, or condemnation. These moves are disproportionately experienced by low-income and non-white households, and occur under critical and often traumatic circumstances. For people with few resources, evictions can cause them to fall deeper into poverty [ii]


[i] Garshick Kleit, Rachel, Seungbeom Kang, and Corianne Payton Scally. “Why Do Housing Mobility Programs Fail in Moving Households to Better Neighborhoods?” Housing Policy Debate, 26.1 (2016).

[ii] Desmond, Matthew and Tracey Shollenberger. “Forced Displacement from Rental Housing: Prevalence and Neighborhood Consequences” Demography, 52 (2015).