housing can reduce the need for families to move to less expensive housing in less desirable neighborhoods, allowing students time to develop and grow in a consistent environment.
Alisson and Carol Canales are twins in second grade at Sheffield Elementary School. The school is in the bottom quarter of North Texas schools, with a high student-to-teacher ratio and a lower operating budget compared to other schools in the district and state. Only 58% of students met state standards in reading last year. Luckily however, Alisson and Carol are participants of Operation Pathways’ afterschool program at The Grove at Trinity Mills in Dallas, Texas. While the Canales family only speaks Spanish at home, Alisson and Carol are excelling in their English skills partly because of their participation in our reading program during afterschool time. They are both avid readers and their test scores show it! This year alone, Carol has improved her reading by one grade level putting her in the fifth grade for reading. Her sis- ter Alisson gained two grade levels in reading and is now reading at the seventh-grade level!! Many new immigrant families strug- gle to assimilate while also trying to provide for their children’s basic needs. NHPF and Operation Pathways work together to help immigrant families stay safe and stable in their affordable hous- ing, and build the skills they need to become successful, self-suffi- cient citizens. There’s no doubt that Alisson and Carol are on that path. Where THEY Live Matters!
Alisson and Carol
Not all residential moves, however, lead to declines in educational achievement. In fact, moving to communities with better and higher quality schools is beneficial to children. Research finds that individuals who live in LIHTC-financed affordable housing units are more likely to live near high-per- forming schools in good neighborhoods than voucher holding families or public housing residents. 52 Analysis of the HOPE VI program, a 1990s initiative by HUD to revitalize the worst public housing projects into mixed income properties, and its residents, shows that affordable housing units anchor holistic community development, which in turn provides a nurturing and stable environment for children in their neighborhoods and communities. 53 Evidence shows that pro- viding safe and affordable housing is not enough if their housing is not located in neighborhoods and communities that foster opportunities for advancement. 54
A few weeks ago, Pam (the resident services coordinator at NHPF’s Ships’ Cove property) saw Shalimar in the lobby of the building. Shalimar was Pam’s summer intern in 2015, and Pam
20 Pay for Success & Affordable Housing | Stefano Rumi
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