Housing and Education: Putting the Pieces Together

A new paper was released today highlighting the impact that affordable housing can have on a child’s education. Housing and Education: Putting the Pieces Together, is the first in a series of papers that is designed to demonstrate the value of affordable housing for people and communities across the State of Vermont. One key to a child’s success and ability to learn in the classroom is having an affordable home. From the paper:

The effects on children’s learning can be both short- and long-term. There are the daily struggles with feeling tired, hungry, distracted, and resentful. And over the course of a student’s time in elementary and secondary school—if he or she sticks around that long, since such students are 60% more likely to drop out of high school—effects include weaker social networks, less involvement in extracurricular activities, and lower-than-average test scores. Vermont’s NECAP results underscore the latter point: the state’s low-income students scored anywhere from 14% to 29% lower in their tests across age groups in the 2012–2013 school year. Encouragingly, however, a Johns Hopkins University study released in June 2014 confirmed that when families spend 30% of their income on housing—the target for what is considered affordable—children’s cognitive abilities improve. When that percentage rises or drops, it suffers. That’s brought about in part by the kinds of environments they’re forced to live in, but also because those families don’t have the resources to provide the books, computers, and educational outings that can determine success in a child’s academic career. That lack often further alienates students who are struggling to fit in. An affordable home, for these kids and their future, could make all the difference. “Sometimes those kids experiencing housing challenges feel disconnected from their communities,” says Champlain Elementary’s Haslam, “which is even more damaging to their ability to access the academics, because socially and emotionally they’re just not ready.”

To read the full paper click here (PDF file). For more information, contact Chris Donnelly at the Champlain Housing Trust by calling (802) 861-7305 or Kenn Sassorossi at Housing Vermont at (802) 863-8284.

#ChamplainHousingTrust #HousingVermont #AffordableHousing #VT #Housing

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