7 Ways Affordable Housing Affects Education, Backed by Research

7 Ways Affordable Housing Affects Education, Backed by Research
Maya Brennan, Patrick Reed, Lisa A. Sturtevant
Publication Date:
November 2014
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Housing matters to children's education, and a growing body of research explores exactly how. A 2014 literature review from the Center for Housing Policy distilled 7 ways that affordable housing affects education. The research presented in the report shows that affordable housing can support children's education by:

  1. Reducing the frequency of disruptive moves.
  2. Helping families move to communities with higher quality schools.
  3. Reducing overcrowding and other sources of housing-related stress.
  4. Helping families avoid housing-related health hazards, which in turn affect education.
  5. Supporting holistic community development, including new or improved schools, tutoring, and strong out-of-school-time programs.
  6. Reducing homelessness among families with children.
  7. Supporting parental spending on child enrichment activities.

The report emphasizes that both the housing unit itself and its location matter. "Neighborhood, school district, job market, crime rates, and other characteristics of the location may be as important for households as the particular unit itself." Some housing policies support education by improving housing quality, stability, and affordability wherever a child lives; others offer low-income families access to strong neighborhoods and schools by ensuring all income groups have access to quality places. There is no single right answer, but there are numerous evidence-based solutions.