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

What Works Collaborative

TAGS| Education

Researchers and policymakers hypothesize that housing can be a platform for academic achievement among low-income students—that is, high-quality, affordable housing, located in safe neighborhoods can go beyond providing basic shelter and stability, and can help provide a stable environment where children access high-performing schools, learn, and succeed academically. Most of the empirical evidence to date, however, focuses on the absence of high-quality, affordable housing and its consequences for children. There is a dearth of research on how housing can be a positive pathway to achieving better school outcomes. Further, methodological limitations plague research on both the negative and positive effects of housing and school outcomes, making it difficult to draw conclusive
findings. To help inform policymakers and move policy forward, this paper discusses the current state of housing in the United States, provides a conceptual framework for housing as a platform to improve educational outcomes for children, reviews the existing evidence that supports conceptual models, and identifies the major gaps in research. Finally, it proposes a list of projects that make up a research agenda for understanding the issue and guiding investments in new research.

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