Our homes and neighborhoods set the stage for our lives. The value of housing as a platform for success is such a universal belief that people search for housing based on the connections and opportunities it provides. Research has shown that housing problems have ripple effects on health, education, economic mobility, child welfare, civil rights, criminal justice, and more. Affordable, stable, and quality housing options for all types of households and income levels can support better outcomes.
The Housing Matters website aggregates information to demonstrate that better outcomes are possible with better housing. Our team strives to put high-quality research and practical insights into the hands of policymakers, program designers, implementers, and advocates. In doing so, we enable wide-ranging social and economic fields to tap into the power of an affordable, stable, quality place to call home.
The Housing Matters website is one component of the Urban Institute’s Housing Matters initiative, which uses research, strategic advising, technical assistance, and communications to improve interrelated outcomes in people’s lives and communities. We abide by the following principles:
Acknowledge the necessity of a home.
Shelter, security, and dignity are fundamental human needs, so access to housing—for absolutely everyone—is a primary public policy concern.
Share research insights as they emerge.
Because no person or neighborhood can hit pause while waiting for settled answers to policy debates, the evidence presented here is a constant work in progress. We continually add new research summaries and periodically synthesize the state of the evidence as a whole.
Apply a social equity lens.
Race, ability, and other aspects of our identities, as well as social and economic factors, affect housing experiences and interrelated outcomes. We ask ourselves and others to acknowledge disparities and use that knowledge to forge a new and more equitable path.
Value research rigor.
When assessing a study’s rigor, we focus on the validity of the inputs and the methods, not on whether it reached a preferred result. We hesitate to further define “rigor” because different questions and cultural contexts merit different approaches. As a result, we read and share findings from a wide array of study types—from small qualitative interviews to multisite randomized controlled trials.
Every person has a role to play in creating the world we live in and the world we want to live in. To enable collective action and unlikely partnerships, we press hard for ourselves and any guest authors to deliver critiques—especially those that involve specific people, organizations, or roles—in a constructive rather than destructive way.