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Knowledge From the Field

Housing as a Platform for Improving Education Outcomes Among Low-Income Children

Published: May 2012

Publisher(s): What Works Collaborative

Author(s): Cunningham, Mary; Graham MacDonald

Funder(s): Annie E. Casey Foundation, Ford Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Rockefeller Foundation, Surdna Foundation

View Report (19 pages; 1.65MB; PDF)

Housing as a Platform for Improving Education Outcomes

Area of Focus: Low-Performing Schools


This paper provides a conceptual framework for housing as a platform to improve educational outcomes for children, reviews evidence that supports conceptual models, and provides a priority list of research questions for further study.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

=Housing quality, residential stability, housing affordability, and neighborhood location are four dimensions of housing that may affect academic achievement.

=Research in this area is plagued by methodological limitations but seems to indicate that some aspects of housing, in particular residential stability and neighborhood location, affect education outcomes.

=Areas of research that deserve attention are understanding the “what” and the “how” of the impact of housing on school education outcomes, testing the efficacy of shallow housing subsidies, linking housing more closely to high-performing schools, and helping families make positive choices when searching for housing.

Focus: National

Subjects/Keywords: Achievement; Housing; Low Income; Outcomes; Research

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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