Vital Links: Housing’s Contributions to the Nation’s Health and Education Objectives

This fascinating link was referred to us by our friend Hilary Dugger Colbert from CPAC

Research has shown that decent, affordable housing can:

reduce health problems associated with exposure to allergens, neurotoxins, and other dangers in the home by allowing families to access better quality housing;

increase residential stability, allowing families to avoid unwanted moves that lead children to change schools, which may impair their educational progress; and

decrease residential crowding and other sources of housing-related stress that lead to negative developmental and educational outcomes for children.

Advocates of affordable homes have long understood that housing is more than just “bricks and mortar.” A new set of resources from the Center for Housing Policy and Enterprise Community Partners collects and analyzes available research evidence that frames the many ways in which our homes and the neighborhoods where we live may affect health and educational outcomes. Some of these connections have been well-documented through years of rigorous study, while others need further examination. We identify these links and present the related research to increase understanding of the ways in which housing policy can be designed to enrich the lives of children and families.

For each of the two topics – the contribution of affordable housing to health and the contribution of affordable housing to education – we have prepared a Research Summary, Literature Review and Annotated Bibliography. Two brief Fact Sheets also are available.

1. Access Evidence Quickly — The Research Summaries present the most promising findings on affordable housing’s impacts.

Housing and Health Research Summary (PDF)
Housing and Education Research Summary (PDF)

2. Framing the Issues — The Literature Reviews provide a more in-depth look at the research evidence, assessing the scholarly support for a series of hypotheses.

Housing and Health Literature Review (PDF)
Housing and Education Literature Review (PDF)

3. The Evidence in Detail — Annotated Bibliographies summarize existing studies that address affordable housing’s connection with health and education. The annotation includes details about the research methods and findings.

Housing and Health Annotated Bibliography (PDF) 
Housing and Education Annotated Bibliography (PDF)

4. Fact Sheets — Brief summaries highlight key data and promising hypotheses.

Quick facts about how housing contributes to children’s well-being (one page) (PDF) Outline of promising hypotheses on how decent, stable, and affordable housing may contribute to health and education outcomes (two pages) (PDF)

We hope these documents will be useful tools for better articulating the contributions of affordable housing and encouraging stronger and more direct linkages between housing and other key societal objectives to help ensure a brighter future for America’s children and families.

These resources are also available at

Readers are invited to provide feedback on these materials by sending an e-mail.

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