The vital link between education and affordable housing

Community Matters Newsletter – Fall 2012

Children deserve a chance to succeed in school and in life. At Mercy Housing, we know this begins with their families being able to afford a decent place to call home. The Center for Housing Policy recently updated its 2007 report, “The Positive Impacts of Affordable Housing on Education,” which discusses the various ways in which the production, rehabilitation, or other provisions of affordable housing may affect educational outcomes for children.

The study revealed several promising ideas.

For example, across the country, students at Mercy Housing family properties receive out of school time activities including educational support with tutoring; leadership programming; community service; physical activity & recreation; and technology literacy through our onsite computer labs.

Stable, affordable housing may reduce the frequency of unwanted moves and homelessness that lead children to experience disruptions in home life or educational instruction.

Excessive absenteeism related to the moves, an inability to study quietly and without chaos, and disruption of peer networks particularly for older children or interference with the development of those peer networks for younger children are but a few of the extra challenges students subject to frequent moves will face.

And finally, well-constructed, maintained, and managed affordable housing can help families address or escape housing related health hazards (e.g., lead poisoning and asthma) that adversely impact learning.

Thanks to donors like you, dedicated Resident Service Staff persons are working, tirelessly, at Mercy Housing family properties all across the nation to help our youth overcome the challenges faced by students living in poverty. Together, we can end the cycle of poverty and help our youngest residents reach their full potential.