Education advocates ARE housing advocates.

Educators know that student achievement is maximized when students can go home to stable, affordable housing.

Stable, Affordable Housing Drives Stronger Student Outcomes

  • “Low-income children in affordable housing score better on cognitive development tests than those in unaffordable housing (Newman & Holupka, 2015). Researchers suggest that that is partly because parents with affordable housing can invest more in activities and materials that support their children’s development (Newman & Holupka, 2014).  Parents also are able to save more money for their children’s college tuition when they are not rent burdened and are more likely to attend a parent teacher conference (Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation, 2016).”  Quoted from NLIHC, A Place to Call Home.
  • “Low income children who switch schools frequently due to housing instability or homelessness tend to perform less well in school, have learning disabilities and behavioral problems, and are less likely to graduate from high school (Voight, Shinn, & Nation, 2012).  When they grow up, they are also more likely to be employed in jobs with lower earnings and skill requirements (Fischer, 2015).”  Quoted from NLIHC, A Place to Call Home.
  • “Students who attend schools with large populations of hypermobile children [due to unstable and unaffordable housing] also suffer academically since more time must be devoted to review and catching up on work (Cunningham & MacDonald, 2012).” Quoted from NLIHC, A Place to Call Home.

Schools should not “go it alone.”  Out-of-school factors greatly influence academic outcomes.  After all, children spend more time in and around their home than they do in school.

  • “The preponderance of evidence shows that achievement differences between students are overwhelmingly attributable to factors outside of schools and classrooms (Hanushek et al. 1998; Rockoff 2003; Goldhaber et al. 1999; Rowan et al. 2002; Nye et al. 2004).”  Quoted from DiCarlo, The Shanker Institute.

“Even when optimized with high expectations, strong curriculum, and expert instruction, today’s schools have not proven powerful enough by themselves to compensate for the disadvantages associated with poverty.  The exceptions have not proven a new rule, though some practices have shown promise. The gaps, on average, persist. After 20 years of school reform experience, the data don’t lie.” – Paul Reville, former Massachusetts Secretary of Education

Affordable housing options located in high-opportunity areas can lead to economically diverse neighborhoods, which, in turn, can lead to economically diverse schools which consistently drive strong student outcomes for all children.

 

  • The Coleman Report (1966) showed that socioeconomically diverse schools are critical to reducing educational inequities
  • “Students in integrated schools have higher average test scores. On the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) given to fourth graders in math, for example, low-income students attending more affluent schools scored roughly two years of learning ahead of low-income students in high-poverty schools. Controlling carefully for students’ family background, another study found that students in mixed-income schools showed 30 percent more growth in test scores over their four years in high school than peers with similar socioeconomic backgrounds in schools with concentrated poverty.” Quoted from The Century Foundation, Benefits of Integrated Schools.
  • In Montgomery County, Maryland, scattered-site public housing gave low-income children an opportunity to live in more affluent neighborhoods and thereby attend more affluent schools, which drove stronger achievement and significantly reduced gaps.  This ground-breaking study showed that affordable housing, in and of itself, can help raise student achievement and can be more effective than some traditional education reforms (Schwartz, 2010).
  • Attending a diverse school reduces prejudice and stereotypes, and prepares students for success in a diverse global economy (The Century Foundation, Benefits of Integrated Schools).
  • When a low-income child is able to access affordable housing located in a better neighborhood, it improves the likelihood of college attendance (Chetty & Hendren, 2015).

“School reform cannot succeed without housing reform.”
– Richard Rothstein, Economic Policy Institute