Housing and Education Partnership in Practice: Afterschool at Eden Housing

Housing and Education Partnership in Practice: Afterschool at Eden Housing
Janet Viveiros
National Housing Conference
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This case study describes a partnership between two non-profits: Eden Housing, an affordable housing provider, and the Partnership for Children and Youth (PCY), an educational support organization focused on underserved communities. Before partnering with the PCY, Eden Housing offered afterschool programs, but the PCY saw an opportunity to strengthen the curriculum and yield better outcomes for Eden’s children.  With students spending over “80 percent of their time outside of the classroom,” the PCY sees a tremendous opportunity to narrow the achievement gap through high-quality afterschool programs in affordable housing developments. With funding from the S.H. Cowell Foundation, the PCY offers pro bono technical assistance to help Eden and other affordable housing developments provide high-quality afterschool programming.

This led to the PCY creating the HousED initiative in 2015, which brings together Eden and other affordable housing providers in the San Francisco Bay Area to participate in trainings to improve housing-based afterschool programming. The program also connects parents and schools through on-site school resource fairs or host parent-school meetings at the housing development. Eden’s afterschool staff further provide guidance for parents on understanding test scores, individualized education programs for students with special needs, and other aspects of navigating the school system. By combining educational expertise with housing, the PCY and Eden hope to close the achievement gap for low-income students.

Key lessons:

  • While operating revenue can support some of the costs, outside investment is needed to sustain high-quality afterschool programming in affordable housing developments. For Eden, the budget and commitment to afterschool services vary by development.
  • Schools’ and teachers’ workload and capacity can limit opportunities to connect afterschool programming with the work in the classroom or support each child’s needs. Direct partnerships with schools are also limited by the need to negotiate relationships across multiple schools and school districts.
  • Student data, such as grades and test scores, could help target programming for participating students and allow afterschool providers to better measure their impact, but obtaining these data from schools is challenging. When direct data-sharing agreements are not in place, parents may sign releases to allow data access or may provide status reports on their children directly.
  • High-quality, housing-based afterschool programming may become harder to fund if housing providers must obtain child care licensing. Certification and licensing requirements need to weigh the trade-offs and determine how to ensure that regulations designed to ensure quality do not inadvertently limit access.