Economic Mobility & Housing

Economic mobility and anti-poverty advocates ARE housing advocates

Safe, affordable housing enables low-income people to climb up the income ladder and achieve the American Dream.

Affordable housing frees up more family income for other necessities, such as nutritious food, transportation, health care, and savings.

Affordable housing enables moving to opportunity

which improves long-term life outcomes

A landmark study by Harvard economist Raj Chetty demonstrates the enormous positive impact that affordable housing can have on upward economic mobility for low-income children. Chetty analyzed the long-term adult outcomes for low-income children whose families used a housing voucher to move to lower poverty neighborhoods through HUD’s Moving to Opportunity experiment. He found that children who moved before age 13 were more likely to attend college, more likely to get married and have children with a father present, earned 31% more in annual income (which increased expected lifetime earnings by $302,000), lived in better neighborhoods, and paid more in federal income tax because of this, future children and grandchildren were more likely to be raised in a better neighborhood by two parents who have more education and more income, which helps break the cycle of generational poverty.

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