2017 Symposium Industry Report: Pay for Success

for Disease Control estimates that over 3.8 million homes in the United States built before 1978 still have lead-based paint; a similar study found that 35% of low-income units observed had lead-based hazards. 39, 40 Though the paint itself is harmless on the wall, paint chips eaten by children pose a dangerous health hazard to lower income families. The health and supply concerns of affordable housing in America necessitate more construction of up-to-date and nurturing homes that are available to those in need. Access to healthcare : Like food costs, healthcare is often the first to go when rents are unaffordable. Studies indicate that the high price of housing may cause households to avoid purchasing insurance; a 2005 analysis found that severely cost-burdened households spent half as much on healthcare and health insur- ance than households with stable housing. 41, 42 In addition to financial difficulty, lower income neighborhoods often lack proper healthcare facilities altogether; like trips to the supermarket, hospital visits for non-emergency purposes are pro- hibitively difficult. 43 Mental health : Greater residential stability leads to better mental health. Financial insecurity from unaffordable rents and frequent moves exacerbate stress, especially among children, and negatively impact self-esteem and attach- ment to the community. Crowded conditions lead to both psychological distress and tension in social ties. 44, 45 Neighborhood violence has severe negative psy- chological effects on traumatized individuals; these adverse consequences of unaffordable housing magnify during early childhood development. Evictions result in higher self-reported stress among families; coupled with an inability to make meaningful emotional investments in a home and a community, instabil- ity limits social ties and isolates individuals, contributing to more stress. 46, 47, 48 In addition, children whose families move often perform less well than their peers and exhibit more behavioral issues. 49 Affordable Housing and Education Early education experts suggest that stable and affordable housing has a posi- tive impact on a child’s opportunities for educational success. Disruptive moves, which sometimes occur due to a family’s need to find more affordable housing, lead to declines in educational achievement. Why is this the case? Residential moves often lead to interruptions in a child’s academic envi- ronment, including socialization with peers. This leads to behavioral difficul- ties and attention problems, especially at early developmental stages of a child’s life. 50 In addition, teachers are unable to establish quality contact and nurtur- ing relationships with students who change schools frequently or are frequently absent. Children whose families face housing affordability issues are denied instructional care and often perform poorly on standardized tests. 51 Affordable

Pay for Success & Affordable Housing | Stefano Rumi 19

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