Housing & Education

A growing body of research suggests that stable, affordable housing may provide children with enhanced opportunities for educational success. While schools and teachers bear principal responsibility for children’s education, research shows that a supportive and stable home environment can complement the efforts of educators, leading to better student achievement.

This report by the Center for Housing Policy is an update to a 2007 literature review which examined the various ways in which the production, rehabilitation, or other provision of affordable housing may affect educational outcomes for children. Six prominent themes are discussed and include:

  • Stable, affordable housing may reduce the frequency of unwanted moves that can be disruptive to a child’s educational experience;
  •  Creating mixed-income communities increases the likelihood that all children will be exposed to more support for education and stronger school systems;
  • Providing decent, quality affordable housing reduces housing-related stress that can contribute to poor educational outcomes for children;
  • Safe, decent, well maintained housing will reduce the incidents of housing-related health hazards such as lead poisoning and asthma that impact learning;
  • Affordable housing developments can be a platform for educational improvement by providing residential-based after-school programs;
  • Affordable housing supports children’s educational achievements by reducing homelessness among families with children.

Annually, funding for education is the largest line item in the budgets of all our jurisdictions in Northern Virginia. As a region, we understand the importance of, and are willing to invest in quality education for our children, so this issue has high community value and is allocated the necessary resources. If the provision of safe, affordable housing has an impact on a child’s ability to learn and be successful, doesn’t it make sense to protect that educational investment with an appropriate investment in affordable housing?

To read the report in it’s entirely, click here http://www.nhc.org/media/files/Insights_HousingAndEducationBrief.pdf.