NHPF-Authored Articles & Industry Reports

Why Is Housing Stability So Important to Educational Outcomes?

“ Housing is a human right. The more that we can connect the dots between housing insecurity and . . . education and really close some of those gaps, we will be able to transform the lives of young people. ”  —LIZ MURRAY, AUTHOR AND MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER, GROWING UP & OUT OF POVERTY: WHY HOUSING MATTERS SYMPOSIUM, OCTOBER 14, 2020 Questions to guide our research Enterprise and NHPF worked closely to craft a set of research questions that focused on the perception and experience of educators as they work with children experiencing housing instability. 1. Do educators view housing stability as a key determinant of the educational outcomes of their students? Do they experience challenges in identifying housing insecurity among students? Has Covid-19 highlighted or exacerbated this connection? 2. What are the common resources and supports that educators rely on to help students experiencing housing instability (e.g. school policies, local government resources and support, referral to local housing and service providers, etc.)? What challenges do educators experience in connecting students to available services and support? These questions guided the development of an educator survey, which was administered to 500 teachers, aides, administrators and counselors around the country. Existing research shows the connection between housing and education There is a growing amount of research focused on the intersection of housing and education. There are numerous ways that housing has been shown to impact academic success, from the effects of frequent housing moves (“hypermobility”), to the location of housing, to the quality/ safety of the home itself. Recent reports, such as the Urban Institute’s recently released research brief and Enterprise’s Advancing Mobility from Poverty Toolkit have all elevated this issue. Much of the research has focused on the ways that housing instability negatively affects the performance of students in school and impacts children’s cognitive development. Homelessness, for example, is associated with an increased likelihood of cognitive and mental health problems. 1 Multiple studies have found that frequent moves have an adverse impact on reading and math scores. 2, 3 This residential mobility can often result in frequent school changes, 1 F ischer, Will, Douglas Rice, and Alicia Mazzara. “Research Shows Rental Assistance Reduces Hardship and Provides Platform to Expand Opportunity for Low-Income Families,” 2019 n.d., 12. Research review published by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. 2 L eBoeuf, Whitney A., and John W. Fantuzzo. “Effects of Intradistrict School Mobility and High Student Turnover Rates on Early Reading Achievement.” 3 C layton, Wayne Franklin. “Cognitive and Behavioral Consequences of Mobility for Fifth-Grade Students in a Large Metropolitan School District.” D.Phil., Mercer University, 2018. https://search.proquest.com/docview/2224051486/abstract/150654ED8B7D458EPQ/1 .

Growing Up & Out of Poverty

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