2020 Symposium Industry Report: Growing Up & Out of Poverty

Growing Up & Out of Poverty: Enhancing Academic Success Through the Intersection of Housing and Education

The NHP Foundation & Enterprise Community Partners | Growing Up & Out of Poverty 1

An industry report and recommendations based on educator surveys, interviews with people with lived experience and commentary by providers and experts.

Contents

3

Executive Summary

5

Introduction

Why Is Housing Stability So Important to Educational Outcomes? 7

10

What Do Educators Believe about Housing-Related Challenges?

14

Do Educators Feel Prepared and Able to Support Students?

17

Recommendations

24

Appendix: Survey Instrument Questions

Executive Summary

Years of research have shown that when young people have a safe and stable place to call home, their educational outcomes improve and they have the opportunity to grow into their full potential. But what happens in the classroom when families struggle to find housing or stay properly housed? How can educators play a role in supporting students? And what can leaders in the community development and human services fields do to work with educators toward solutions? In 2020, The NHP Foundation and Enterprise Community Partners joined forces to answer these questions by gathering perspectives from 500 educators across the United States. We asked them about the impact of housing instability on their students, their ability to identify and support students experiencing housing-related challenges, as well as the barriers to accessing resources and supports provided through their schools.

We found that educators believe housing-related challenges to be one of the most salient issues facing their students, producing a measurable impact on educational performance, attendance, behavior and health. Nearly nine in ten educators reported that housing-related challenges have a moderate or significant impact on the educational performance of young people. Educators identified student struggles with homelessness, lack of access to basic utilities, and frequent moves as common among the students they work with. While many educators said they could positively identify students who were struggling with housing challenges, a large number reported that they did not know how to support them. More than 40 percent indicated that they had not received training in this area, and about half of respondents were unaware of a school or district plan to support these students and their families.

The NHP Foundation & Enterprise Community Partners | Growing Up & Out of Poverty 3

Based on these findings, along with discussions at The NHP Foundation’s 2020 Annual Symposium, Growing Up & Out of Poverty: Why Housing Matters, this paper makes five recommendations for the community development and human services fields: • Increase the availability of service enriched housing • Provide additional support to schools and school districts to enhance staff training and improve support plans • Recognize the importance of building trust with students and families • Remove barriers faced by educators to connect students with supportive services • Create and promote cross-sector partnerships to ensure families are served and supports are aligned These recommendations are designed in particular to help educators better support the needs of their students and students’ families. This research could not have come at a more critical moment. As a wave of housing instability and evictions connected to the Covid-19 pandemic threatens millions of families, providing supports for students and educators is paramount. This paper calls on leaders in both the community development and human services sectors to collaborate towards providing vulnerable young people with the stability and safety they need to learn and grow. More than 40 percent of educators indicated that they had not received training in this area, and about half of respondents were unaware of a school or district plan to support these students and their families.

4 Growing Up & Out of Poverty | The NHP Foundation & Enterprise Community Partners

Introduction “ You cannot talk about any forms of true mobility, economic mobility, educational mobility, lifelong learning, employment and career attainment, if you do not understand the role that housing plays. ”  —WES MOORE, AUTHOR & CEO, ROBIN HOOD, GROWING UP & OUT OF POVERTY: WHY HOUSING MATTERS SYMPOSIUM, OCTOBER 14, 2020 Intersection of Housing and Education The NHP Foundation’s (NHPF) 2020 Annual Symposium, Growing Up & Out of Poverty: Why Housing Matters, brought together a range of stakeholders interested in issues of affordable housing. The conference focused on the ways that housing stability can lead to economic mobility, particularly by giving young people a solid foundation from which to learn and grow. This year, amidst the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, housing instability and its effect on children is more critical than ever. Shortly after the symposium, 60 Minutes aired a segment highlighting the impact of evictions on students’ education. The segment follows a social worker as she tries to locate students, some as young as six years old. Experts argued that evictions present a serious risk to children’s academic achievement, and about the urgent need for anti-eviction protections. In this paper, we find that the harm facing young people as a result of housing instability is not just a one-time news special: It is something that many educators see and experience in their work every day, and long before the Covid-19 pandemic. This research brings to the forefront the critical role that both the housing and education systems play in the lives of children—and the role that both educators and housing practitioners have in collaborating toward solutions. Even as both of these sectors experience unprecedented strain in the midst of a pandemic, it is all the more important to work across sectors to protect children who are most vulnerable to the disruptions caused by housing instability and eviction. Partnership between Enterprise Community Partners and The NHP Foundation In early 2020, NHPF and Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise) joined forces to study educators’ perceptions about the intersection of housing and education. We recognized that current research has focused a great deal on measuring educational outcomes for children, but not on the role that educators play in addressing or managing students’ housing instability issues.

The NHP Foundation & Enterprise Community Partners | Growing Up & Out of Poverty 5

In its more than 30-year history creating and preserving affordable housing, NHPF has always focused on providing “more than a roof,” which means housing enriched with onsite services. Ranging from meal provision to summer learning programs to after-school tutoring, these services have been proven to help provide stability in the lives of children and families. As children in the properties grow, they can access age-appropriate services and use them to thrive in school, move onto higher education and obtain jobs. The research undertaken here will help to better integrate onsite programming and assistance at affordable housing properties with what educators and schools are providing. Enterprise works closely with non profit partners and affordable housing developers across the country, seeking ways to solve affordable housing challenges and address a range of community needs, including strengthening access to education. Enterprise aligns affordable housing with other critical sectors like education, understanding that cross-sector partnerships offer a promising pathway for addressing the root causes of generational poverty and advancing economic mobility for families with low incomes. In 2020 Enterprise worked with StriveTogether, a national education intermediary, to release a toolkit for housing and education partnerships . This toolkit provides resources for practitioners engaging in these cross-sector collaborations to improve outcomes for children and families. Included in this toolkit are “101s” on the housing and education sectors, as well as a guide to mobilizing partnerships for housing and education.

6 Growing Up & Out of Poverty | The NHP Foundation & Enterprise Community Partners

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.

The NHP Foundation & Enterprise Community Partners | Growing Up & Out of Poverty 7

also called student mobility. Changing schools increases the likelihood that students will have poorer academic achievements, be involved in more disciplinary infractions, and experience further negative outcomes when compared with other nonmobile students. 4 Research has also demonstrated the positive impact that interventions like the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and other subsidized housing supports can have on children. Children whose families use rental assistance to move to lower-poverty neighborhoods are substantially more likely to attend college and earn more as adults. 5 Further, additional years spent in LIHTC housing as a child is associated with an average 3.9 percent increase in the likelihood of attending a higher education program for four years or more, and a 5.2 percent increase in future earnings. 6 Similarly, for each additional year a teenager’s family used a voucher or lived in public housing they had higher earnings as an adult. 7

Surveying Educators About Their Perceptions

Survey Description Enterprise and NHPF developed a survey instrument to address the research questions. This survey consisted of fifteen multiple-choice questions (see Appendix A for the full survey). Each question in the survey ties to one of the components of the research questions. To ensure the survey would be effectively capture the educator perspective, the questions were shared with our partners at StriveTogether for review and comment. Survey Implementation Enterprise and NHPF partnered with Wakefield Research, a market research firm with extensive experience in survey development and implementation, to administer the survey. Wakefield leveraged an existing panel to deliver a robust response sample of 500 educators, with sufficient sample size in key demographic and geographic areas to allow for statistically relevant analysis. These representative quotas included grade band, region, gender, age, urbanicity, and whether respondents work in a low-income school district. In addition, we collected information on the amount of time the respondents have been in the education field, type of school in which they work, their role in the school, and respondents’ race and ethnicity. All participants reported in the sample interact with students or families as a primary everyday responsibility. For clarity of understanding, the survey instrument used the term “housing-related challenges” to mean “housing instability.” Questions and responses are reported here with the language and terms as they appear in the survey. The survey was administered in the summer of 2020, with data collection over a two-week period. The survey invitations were sent by email and screener questions ensured that the final respondent sample met the representative quotas. 4 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. 5 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. 6 D erby, Elena. “Does Growing Up in Tax-Subsidized Housing Lead to Higher Earnings and Educational Attainment?” SSRN Scholarly Paper. Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network, March 11, 2020. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3491787. 7 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.

8 Growing Up & Out of Poverty | The NHP Foundation & Enterprise Community Partners

Sample Description The survey respondents represent a diverse cross-section of the education sector. Geograph- ically, the sample was distributed across the country and between urban, suburban, and rural schools (see Figure 1). Exactly half the respondent pool (50%) reported working in a Title 1 school, where at least 40% of the student population are from low-income households.

FIGURE 1: Percent of Sample by Region and Urbanicity

20%

25%

36%

Urban Suburban Rural

Northeast South Midwest West

42%

21%

33%

23%

Of the 500 educators, our sample was heavily weighted towards teachers (73%), with fewer responses from classroom aides, specialists, administrative staff, and counselors/social workers (see Figure 2). More than half the respondents (55%) served elementary level students (see Figure 2), and the majority (64%) were based in traditional public schools (see Figure 3).

FIGURE 2: Percent of Sample by Role and Grade Band

School Role

Grade Band*

Classroom Teacher

Classroom aide Education specialist

School-based administrative staff

Counselor/ social worker

Elementary

Middle

High

73%

5%

12%

9%

2%

55%

28%

29%

* Participants selected all grade bands that apply, causing the total to exceed 100%.

FIGURE 3: Percent of Sample by Type of School

30%

Traditional public Charter P ublic full-service community school

64%

6%

A Public full-service community school is a public school that works with partners to provide a coordinated and integrated set of comprehensive services.

The NHP Foundation & Enterprise Community Partners | Growing Up & Out of Poverty 9

What Do Educators Believe about Housing-Related Challenges? “ I never wanted to do things that would put me in jeopardy but at the age of 11 my parents left and I didn’t see either of them for another 20 years. So I stayed in other people’s homes. I slept in other people’s clothes, wore other people’s shoes, but I always found a way of surviving. ”  —DEREK ANDERSON, NBA PRO & FOUNDER, STAMINA ACADEMY, GROWING UP AND OUT OF POVERTY: WHY HOUSING MATTERS SYMPOSIUM, OCTOBER 14, 2020 Housing-related challenges are common among students The results of the educator survey showed that housing-related challenges are seen frequently among students, across all kinds of schools. A third of surveyed educators ranked housing-related challenges among the top barriers impacting students’ academic progress (see Figure 4). Three in four respondents also reported that housing-related challenges are “somewhat” or “very common” among the students they worked with.

FIGURE 4: Challenges impacting students’ academic performance (select up to three)

% Educators surveyed selecting in top 3

Lack of support or engagement from a parent or guardian

63%

Behavioral challenges or concerns

49%

Physical and/or mental health concerns

44%

Lack of social-emotional skills

35%

Housing-related challenges

33%

Limited access to the Internet and/or appropriate technology

25%

Lack of school resources, such as books or extracurricular activities

22%

Lack of neighborhood resources

18%

Difficulty with transportation

12%

10 Growing Up & Out of Poverty | The NHP Foundation & Enterprise Community Partners

Housing-related challenges were reported as most acute at schools that served greater numbers of students from low income families. In Title 1 schools, 87 percent of the staff surveyed said that these housing challenges are common, while 65 percent of educators from non-Title 1 schools indicated that these challenges are common. Staff at urban and rural schools were also more likely to identify housing challenges as a common problem (88 and 76%, respectively), compared to educators at suburban schools (60%) (see Figure 5).

Percent of educators surveyed

FIGURE 5: How common is it for students to experience housing-related challenges?

URBANICITY

TITLE 1 STATUS

TOTAL

Urban

Suburban

Rural

Title 1

Non-Title 1

Very Common

28%

40%

15%

22%

36%

19%

Somewhat common

48%

47%

45%

54%

50%

46%

Not too common

21%

12%

32%

20%

12%

29%

Not common at all

4%

0%

8%

3%

1%

6%

Common (Net)

76%

88%

60%

76%

87%

65%

Not Common (Net)

24%

12%

40%

24%

13%

35%

Housing affects educational performance Not only do educators see housing as a common challenge among their students, a large majority (89%) believe that those issues “moderately” or “significantly” affect their students’ educational performance. (see Figure 6). Of those 89 percent, 79 percent also indicated that these housing-related challenges are “very” or “somewhat” common for their students. These issues were most likely to be identified as significant by educators in urban and suburban schools.

Percent of educators surveyed by urbanicity

FIGURE 6: What impact do housing-related challenges have on academic performance

URBANICITY

TOTAL

Urban

Suburban

Rural

Significant impact

48%

53%

49%

37%

Moderate impact

41%

39%

39%

50%

Slight impact

10%

9%

12%

12%

No impact

1%

0%

1%

2%

Moderate or significant (net)

89%

91%

88%

87%

The NHP Foundation & Enterprise Community Partners | Growing Up & Out of Poverty 11

The educators were asked about the types of housing-related challenges most negatively impacting academic performance. Of the possible options, homelessness was selected by 61 percent of educators, but lack of access to utilities and frequent moves were both identified as top concerns (see Figure 7). Housing quality was a higher concern for both urban (40%) and rural (43%) educators, as compared to suburban educators (28%).

Percent of educators surveyed selecting in top 3

FIGURE 7: Types of housing related challenges most negatively impacting students’ academic performance (select up to 3)

URBANICITY

TOTAL

Urban

Suburban

Rural

Homelessness

61%

60%

62%

61%

Lack of access to basic utilities, such as electricity or heat

47%

46%

50%

46%

Frequent moves

46%

44%

44%

53%

Poor housing quality, such as mold or pest infestation

37%

40%

28%

43%

Overcrowded living conditions

30%

33%

27%

28%

Student’s family cannot pay housing costs

27%

30%

29%

20%

Evictions

21%

23%

19%

20%

Other

1%

0%

1%

1%

Nearly 1 in 3 (32%) urban educators indicated that neighborhood resources have a “significant” impact on academic performance, compared to only 15 percent among suburban and rural educators (see Figure 8).

Percent of educators surveyed

FIGURE 8: Impact of neighborhood resources on academic performance

URBANICITY

TOTAL

Urban

Suburban

Rural

Significant impact

22%

32%

15%

15%

Moderate impact

47%

44%

51%

47%

Slight impact

28%

22%

31%

35%

No impact

3%

2%

3%

3%

Significant or moderate impact (net)

69%

76%

66%

72%

12 Growing Up & Out of Poverty | The NHP Foundation & Enterprise Community Partners

Housing-related challenges’ impact on areas related to academic performance Respondents saw the impact of housing-related challenges across a variety of development areas for students. Educators ranked school attendance, mental health and social emotional skills as most impacted by housing challenges (see Figure 9).

FIGURE 9: Areas most negatively impacted by housing-related challenges (select up to 3)

Percent of educators surveyed selecting in top 3

Attendance

62%

Mental health

53%

Social-emotional skills

50%

Attention in the classroom

44%

Physical health

25%

Literacy

21%

Analytical and problem-solving skills

12%

Grade advancement

9%

Other

2%

Educators were asked about the resources and supports available through their schools. From a list of potential resources and supports, connections to school-based resources such as before/after school programs (62%), referral to behavioral health support (54%), and transportation to/from school (54%) were each identified frequently as being accessible resources offered through their school to help address those challenges among students and their families (see Figure 10).

FIGURE 10: Resources and supports accessible through school to support students and families experiencing housing-related challenges (select all that apply)

Percent of educators surveyed

Connections to school-based resources, such as before/after school programs

62%

Referral for behavioral health support

54%

Transportation to and from school

54%

Referral to support for navigating government assistance programs

48%

Referral for housing assistance

43%

Immediate school enrollment for students experiencing homelessness

43%

Referral for financial assistance

34%

Other

1%

None

3%

The NHP Foundation & Enterprise Community Partners | Growing Up & Out of Poverty 13

Do Educators Feel Prepared and Able to Support Students? “ You’re allowed to fail, you just can’t quit. ”  —MARY BADILLO,

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR ER MEDICINE, MONTEFIORE MEDICAL CENTER, GROWING UP & OUT OF POVERTY: WHY HOUSING MATTERS SYMPOSIUM, OCTOBER 14, 2020

Many do not know how to play a role in supporting students In addition to understanding the perceived impact of housing related challenges, NHPF and Enterprise also wanted to find out if educators feel prepared and able to identify and support students. We found that 85 percent of surveyed educators said they would be able to identify a student experiencing a housing-related challenge. However, more than a third (38%) also indicated they do not know how to connect students to supportive services (See Figure 11). In schools with a higher share of students from low income households, fewer educators reported feeling confident to connect students to available supports. In Title 1 schools, only 58 percent of respondents indicated they would know how to connect a student with supportive services, compared to 66 percent in non-Title 1 schools.

Percent of educators surveyed

FIGURE 11: Knows how to connect students to available support services

Title 1 Status

Total

Title 1

Non-Title 1

Knows how to connect students (net)

62%

58%

66%

Does not know how to connect students (net)

38%

42%

34%

More than 1 in 4 (27%) of urban educators indicated they “definitely” would be able to identify a student experiencing housing-related challenges, compared with just 9 percent of suburban and 12 percent of rural educators. Three quarters (75%) of urban educators indicated that they would typically learn a student is experiencing housing-related challenges from the student themselves. Many have not been trained to support students Our survey asked about how schools are assisting educators to identify and support students, through training and other resources. Almost half (44%) of the educators surveyed indicated they had no training in identifying or supporting students experiencing housing- related challenges (see Figure 12), however trainings were more common in urban schools. More than half of urban educators (55%) attended a training facilitated by their school or district, compared with 36 percent of suburban educators and 38 percent of rural staff. Full- service community school staff indicated their school provided training more frequently (62% compared to 50% overall).

14 Growing Up & Out of Poverty | The NHP Foundation & Enterprise Community Partners

Percent of educators surveyed

FIGURE 12: Did your school or school system provide training on identifying and addressing issues of housing-related challenges

Urbanicity

Total

Urban

Suburban

Rural

Yes, and I attended

44%

55%

36%

38%

Yes, but I did not attend

5%

8%

5%

2%

No, but I attended similar training elsewhere

11%

6%

15%

16%

No

32%

27%

36%

35%

I don’t know

7%

5%

8%

9%

Attended training (net)

56%

60%

51%

54%

Did not attend training (net)

44%

40%

49%

46%

Those who attended a training reported a higher level of confidence in their ability to identify students facing housing-related challenges. A quarter of those who attended a training reported that they “definitely would” be able to identify those issues, compared to only 9 percent of those who did not. Just under half of educators surveyed overall were aware of a school or district plan to support students experiencing housing-related challenges. Sixty one percent of urban educators were aware of a plan, compared with 42 percent of suburban staff and 39 percent of rural educators. Nearly all have experienced barriers to supporting students Regardless of whether training and support plans are in place, educators face significant challenges in helping address housing-related challenges facing their students. Nearly all respondents (93%) reported experiencing barriers to helping students connect to services or supports (see Figure 13). While difficulty connecting to parents and stigma issues were common across schools, urban staff were most likely to identify waiting lists as a top barrier, as well.

Percent of educators surveyed selecting in top 3

FIGURE 13: Top challenges of connecting students and families to housing-related supports (select up to 3)

Urbanicity

Total

Urban

Suburban

Rural

Difficulty connecting with parent/guardians to refer

50%

54%

47%

49%

Student and/or family concerns of potential stigma

48%

49%

48%

46%

Long wait list for support programs

30%

38%

25%

24%

Unsure which services are most needed

27%

23%

32%

27%

Time constraints limit my ability to help

23%

23%

21%

28%

Unsure which organizations provide needed services

23%

21%

25%

26%

Unsure who to contact in my school

14%

16%

13%

13%

Other

1%

1%

1%

1%

I have not encountered any challenges in connecting

7%

6%

10%

7%

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Impact of Covid-19 This survey was conducted in 2020, during a global pandemic, so we asked educators whether they saw the impact that Covid-19 has had on pre-existing housing-related challenges. Nearly all educators surveyed (95%) agreed that these challenges have been exacerbated by the crisis. “ The issue of housing affordability is one that impacted our country well “ Covid-19 has made the existing affordable housing crisis even worse. Millions

of Americans are out of work and our affordable housing needs are at an all- time high. ”  —SUZAN DELBENE, REPRESENTATIVE (D-WA 1ST DISTRICT), GROWING UP & OUT OF POVERTY: WHY HOUSING MATTERS SYMPOSIUM, OCTOBER 14, 2020

before this pandemic hit and, for so many Americans, it’s been exacerbated during this pandemic. ” —TODD YOUNG, SENATOR (R- IN), GROWING UP & OUT OF POVERTY: WHY HOUSING MATTERS SYMPOSIUM, OCTOBER 14, 2020

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Recommendations

Educators are a key part of the first line of support for children and families who struggle to meet the everyday needs of food access, health and wellness, and stable housing. This survey shows that teachers, administrators, and counselors encounter students who face housing instability regularly, and that these issues appear to have a definite impact on the academic success of their students. Housing-related challenges are, themselves, a concern for educators. These challenges also impact many of the other barriers identified by educators, including behavioral health, social emotional skills, and even the ability of a parent or guardian to be engaged in their children’s school. We also found that educators often feel unprepared to support their students. Many do not have access to training and support plans to know how to identify a student who is experiencing housing instability and what to do to support them. Although our study finds that there are a range of resources available to students through their schools, educators encounter barriers to making these connections. The perception of educators matches much of what the research highlights: students who experience housing instability are at a disadvantage from their more stably-housed peers. These survey findings were presented at the Growing Up & Out of Poverty Symposium and were the basis for a discussion with a panel of individuals who experienced a variety of housing instability, yet went on to become authors, a doctor, a CEO, and an athlete. The survey of educators and the comments from the panel point to five key recommendations for the field of community development 1. Increase the availability of service-enriched housing These findings point to the potential value of expanding service enriched housing options for families with children. Educators in the survey reflected on the types of referral and support resources that are available to them through school. These included housing, health, and financial resource providers, before and after school programs, and transportation. One example of improved outcomes is that educators in Full Service Community Schools indicated that they receive training on housing-related challenges more often than the average educator. When these types of services are not available at school, providing them in neighborhoods through service-enriched housing may streamline the process and address many of the barriers expressed by survey participants. Creating cross sector partnerships can ensure these services are aligned and have the most efficient and effective impact across a community. Enterprise Community Development has created the Community Impact Strategies program to provide services, classes and workshops to help our more than 20,000 residents access the resources they need. Through these services, we see our residents do better in school, obtain new job skills, connect with healthcare more regularly and achieve other outcomes. NHPF also maintains a robust resident services subsidiary, Operation Pathways, yet securing funding for these academic, financial, health and positive aging programs is always a

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Description of service-enriched housing

The provision of resident services has been in existence for generations. But in the mid-nineties, a Shelterforce article was published that introduced a new term to the field: service- enriched housing. This term was meant to fill the gap between affordable developments that did not include any supportive housing, and permanent supportive housing for individuals and families who are at-risk or chronically homeless. This model was designed to “allow residents to identify their own needs and issues of concern, within a housing structure and a community-oriented infrastructure.” Partnering for Change defines service-enriched housing as rental housing for the low-income population at large, not necessarily targeted to those who are at risk or with special needs, but nevertheless able to monitor and support the needs of the more vulnerable residents. More recently, Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF) published a framework for a system of resident services that builds on this goal. Residents are not just consumers, they are key stakeholders in the development, delivery and evaluation of services. These services should be developed within the current ecosystem of available resources, building on assets and filling critical gaps. County Health Rankings and Roadmaps identifies service- enriched housing as an evidence-based strategy that can reduce homelessness, increase housing stability, decrease racial and other disparities, and reduce hospital utilization.

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challenge. Typically funding comes from a combination of hard-fought grants and fundraising efforts. The benefits of such programming, for children in particular, include improved reading and math skills retention. The program also helps families secure electronic devices and reliable internet connections to conduct distance learning. Participants in programming typically also improve nutrition and experience other health benefits. These partnerships must be intentional if they are to improve educational outcomes. The NHP Foundation, for example, has held Back to School Night and parent teacher conferences in their common spaces to encourage participation by residents and to enable teachers and school staff to see where their students live. There are many reasons why parents may not

be involved in their child’s education, but one may be their own negative experiences in school buildings. Schools may not be seen as safe spaces and teachers or other staff can be intimidating, particularly for those parents who are not native English speakers. Resident service providers like NHPF’s Operation Pathways are more likely to have a positive relationship with parents and can act as liaisons or intermediaries between home and school. School events held in community centers are “safer” spaces for residents who are already active

in site-based programming. Holding these events on site also helps to accommodate those parents who might struggle with transportation or child-care. Support groups and resource hotlines were also suggested by Dr. Mary Badillo at the symposium. These groups could bring together residents to share resources, experiences, and connections that have helped in shared or similar situations. Some developers at NHPF have been successful at incorporating “seed money” for resident services into development budgets for appropriate properties. These funds are being used to jumpstart services programming and provide breathing room for resident services management to supplement the budgets via traditional grants and other fundraising. Developers are also folding in funding for one year’s salary for a Resident Services Coordinator into operating budgets. While these measures buy time for onsite providers to accrue additional funds to help sustain resident service for years to come, it is hoped that more developers will adopt this model and eventually find ways to build longer term financing into development and operational budgets. 2. P rovide additional support to schools and school districts to enhance staff training and improve support plans Training and planning are critical tools for educators to support students and families experiencing housing instability. Many of the educators who responded to this survey reported not attending a training on housing-related challenges or that trainings were not made available by their school or district. This indicates an opportunity for the community

The NHP Foundation & Enterprise Community Partners | Growing Up & Out of Poverty 19

development field, experts in housing and community connections, to directly assist schools and their staff. Partnering with local schools and districts to offer these trainings, either in the community or during regularly scheduled staff meetings, allows for the development of strong partnership between these two stakeholder groups. Community developers can also work with schools and school districts to think proactively and create interventions and support plans that can be put in place when students do experience housing-related challenges. These plans can include the steps a school should take when identifying a student experiencing housing-related challenges, who to contact in the school or at the district, what community resources are available, and the referral processes to connect students to available supports. This planning can reduce the time it takes to connect families to resources. 8 3. Recognize the importance of building trust with students and families Presenters at the Growing Up & Out of Poverty: Why Housing Matters Symposium, often drawing on personal experience, emphasized the importance of building trust with students and families to address the challenging issues around poverty and housing instability. On one panel, author and motivational speaker Liz Murray described how her mentor helped her through the experience of attending school while homeless. This mentor, after whom she later named her organization, the Arthur Project, inspired her to work harder and overcome the barriers she faced. Trust is a critical component of addressing the concerns about stigma that educators reported facing in attempting to connect youth and families to supportive services. Half of all respondents indicated that challenges connecting with families present a barrier. Developing strong communication and referral mechanisms that rely on testimonials and stories from their neighbors will help families understand that the services and supports provided work and do not come with strings attached. Building relationships with residents, being engaged with school communities, these are ways that housing organizations and service providers can work towards this recommendation. Another way to build trust with students and families is through the service coordinator. A cornerstone of the service-enriched housing model, these professionals work closely with residents to meet and overcome various challenges. They become a trusted member of the community. It is important that, in the provision of important and necessary services, organizations value and respect clients as individuals and people, treating them with dignity. 4. R emove barriers faced by educators to connect students with supportive services Nearly all educators in our survey reported facing barriers in connecting students in need to supports. These barriers ranged from difficulty reaching families and concerns about stigma to long wait lists and the demands on educators’ time to understand who provides services. These findings point to opportunities for the community development sector and service providers to enhance and improve service offerings.

8 For more on building partnerships between housing and community development partners, see Advancing Mobility from Poverty: A Toolkit for Housing and Education Partnerships.

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Understanding the challenges educators have with time constraints, for example, those service providers can work to streamline referral mechanisms and minimize the time required to connect students to services. Knowing that many students and families are concerned about stigma associated with receiving services, communications and marketing materials can stress the confidentiality and steps taken to maximize privacy of those receiving supports. While wait lists may be unavoidable, clear communication about the wait list process and timing can reduce confusion and enable more effective planning. Along with trust, building understanding relationships with families is critically important. This was made clear by one speaker who told the story of her experience with her mother sitting in a supportive services office. She recalled the way her mother was addressed and made to feel infantilized as a result of asking for help. This experience as a young child had a lasting impression on the speaker and changed the way she viewed these types of service agencies. Investing in service-enriched housing is also a strategy to countering the barriers faced by educators. When services are provided in the resident’s community, they come from a known entity, reducing concerns around stigma and challenges in reaching family members. Building relationships between service providers in affordable housing and educators can help educators stay informed about who to contact and what services are available for their students. 5. C reate and promote cross-sector partnerships to ensure families are served and supports are aligned Cross-sector partnerships are one way that policymakers and community leaders can tackle some of the many issues raised in our survey, including the need for more educator trainings and the reduction of barriers to accessing supportive services. Cross-sector partnerships, and greater dialogue among stakeholders in both the housing and education fields, are one way to implement meaningful and effective supports for students and families. They enable practitioners and policymakers to better understand and address the “root causes” of societal issues, to innovate, and to develop collective solutions. 9 By working together across their respective sectors, community development, human services

9 Van Tulder, Rob, et al. “Enhancing the impact of cross-sector partnerships.” Journal of Business Ethics 135.1 (2016): 1–17.

The NHP Foundation & Enterprise Community Partners | Growing Up & Out of Poverty 21

and education partners can leverage their resources and skills to improve a set of agreed- upon, shared outcomes. A resource for both educators and community development practitioners pursuing cross- sector partnerships is a toolkit recently released by Enterprise and StriveTogether, called Advancing Mobility From Poverty . The report is based on lessons learned from collaborations piloted in several cities and grounded in research from the Urban Institute. The guide provides tangible direction for stakeholders in both the housing and education sectors to better understand each other and develop mutually beneficial partnerships centered on improving outcomes for students and families. \ In the midst of a national health and economic crisis, the need to support families and young people—both at home, and at school—has never been greater. This survey highlights the needs of educators to help them better support their students and students’ families. Some of these needs may be met through more training, implementation of service enriched housing, reduction of barriers to supportive services, and community trust-building. But our findings also point to opportunities for policymakers and leaders in both the community development and human services sectors to develop new partnerships and collaborate, in order to provide young people with the stability they need at home to have opportunities learn and grow in the classroom. While the results of this study provide valuable insights into the experience of educators and our understanding of housing instability, there is a need for further research to better understand interventions that can support students and educators. Our survey focused on the educator perspective, mostly those of teachers. Additional research from the perspectives of students and families would add valuable additional insight to the field, and help identify barriers that families face in accessing services and supports. Further research on the efficacy of specific programs and trainings for educators would also help with designing and targeting interventions at the school level. “ Whatever your issue is, whatever keeps you up at night, the lack of affordable housing sits somewhere at the root of that issue. If you care

about social mobility, if you care about giving kids a chance to reach their full potential, if you care about breaking the cycle of poverty, you have to care about affordable housing. ” —MATTHEW DESMOND, PROFESSOR OF SOCIOLOGY & AUTHOR, GROWING UP & OUT OF POVERTY SYMPOSIUM, OCTOBER 14, 2020

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Appendix: Survey Instrument Questions

Display to Respondent: For the purposes of this survey, “housing- related challenges” are issues or events that impact a students’ physical residence. This could include homelessness, evictions, frequent moves, overcrowded living conditions, or poor housing quality. “Neighborhood resources” can include the presence of religious and cultural centers, neighborhood safety, and access to grocery stores, libraries, green spaces, or health care clinics. 1. Please rank the following challenges in order of how you think they impact a student’s academic performance, from “most negatively impacts” to “least negatively impacts.” n Housing-related challenges n Lack of neighborhood resources n L ack of school resources, such as books or extracurricular activities n Lack of support or engagement from a parent or guardian n Limited access to the Internet and/or appropriate technology n Behavioral challenges or concerns n Lack of social-emotional skills

5. In your opinion, which of the following are most negatively impacted by a student’s housing-related challenges? Please select up to three (3). n Literacy n Analytical and problem-solving skills n School attendance n Attention in the classroom

n Grade advancement n Social-emotional skills n Physical health n Mental health n Other (please specify)

6. In a typical school year, how common is it for the students you work with to experience some form of housing-related challenges? n Very common n Somewhat common

n Not too common n Not at all common

n Physical and/or mental health concerns n Difficulty with transportation to/from school

7. How would you typically learn that a student is experiencing housing-related challenges? Please select all that apply. n From the student n From the student’s parent or guardian

2. In your opinion, to what extent do housing-related challenges have an impact on students’ academic performance?

n Through another student or peer n From teachers or school staff n From school administrators n Other (please specify)

n Significant impact n Moderate impact n Slight impact n No impact

8. Would you be able to identify when a student may be experiencing housing-related challenges, such as homelessness, frequent moves, or poor housing quality?

3. In your opinion, to what extent do neighborhood resources impact students’ academic performance?

n Significant impact n Moderate impact n Slight impact n No impact

n Definitely would n Probably would n Probably would not n Definitely would not

4.  Which of the following housing-related challenges would you expect to most negatively impact students’ academic performance? Please select up to three (3). n Evictions

9. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement: “Currently, I do not know how to connect a student experiencing housing-related challenges with available support services.” n Agree strongly n Agree somewhat n Disagree somewhat n Disagree strongly

n Frequent moves n Homelessness n Overcrowded living conditions n Student’s family cannot pay housing costs

n Poor housing quality, such as mold or pest infestation n Lack of access to basic utilities, such as electricity or heat n Other

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