The role of housing in educational opportunities
Academic success begins at home
A family’s living conditions can play a significant role in a child’s educational opportunities and achievements.
Families who spend too much of their income on housing often must make critical trade-offs, including forgoing educational and enrichment opportunities for themselves and their children.
For children, frequent or unplanned moves will often negatively impact achievement. A stable place to call home provides a secure environment and adequate space to study and think. Better lighting, room for a small desk, a parent’s ability to devote time to helping with homework — all of these can lead to improved academic outcomes.
“If we care about providing kids a stable shot at going to the same school for several years and meeting role models and students and guidance counselors who can help them reach their full potential, then we have to provide their families a stable place to live.”— Matthew Desmond, author of “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City”
Habitat’s affordable mortgages and loans, energy-efficient construction, and repairs all help to lower housing costs for many families, allowing them to make greater investments in their children’s education. In a 2015 report “Impacts of Habitat for Humanity Homeownership,” researchers from the Wilder Foundation determined that almost two-thirds of Habitat homeowners with children in Minnesota say they feel more confident about their ability to fund their kids’ college education.
Furthermore, adults in stable and affordable housing are more likely to invest in education for themselves — bolstering job opportunities, long-term career growth, social mobility and finances that can help lift up their entire family.
No matter one’s age, having a decent place to call home — a place to feel secure — can lead to future success.