How Housing Affects Educational Outcomes
Academic Success Begins At Home
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a supportive and stable home can attribute to the educational success of children. When families spend less on housing, they can invest in themselves. This includes investing in higher education. Long-term career growth, social mobility and finances can help lift the entire family into prosperity.
No matter one’s age, having a decent place to call home – a place to study and think – a place to feel secure – can lead to a more successful future.
Low Quality and Unaffordable Housing Affects Children and Adults
Frequent or unplanned moves because of unsafe situations, rising housing costs, or other difficulties negatively impact school performance. In some cases, families are forced to move to undesirable areas with low-performing schools. These situations create cycles of instability that easily permeate into adulthood.
For children, moves can interfere with the development of personal relationships, resulting in the lack of a support system in school. As friends are vital to school-age children’s healthy development, children who lack friends can suffer from emotional and mental difficulties. Establishing roots in the community allows children to develop friendships, ultimately increasing their empathy and compassion.
Parents paying too high a percentage of their income for housing often find themselves making tough choices. The decision between making rent, paying for education, or having safe transportation can cause stress, depression, and hopelessness. With affordable housing, adults spend less time worrying about finances and more time invested in their children’s education as well as their own.
In a 2016 report “Impacts of Habitat for Humanity Homeownership,” researchers from the Wilder Foundation determined that almost two-thirds of Habitat homeowners in Minnesota say they feel more confident about their ability to fund their kids’ college education. Having a stable place to call home provides the entire family with a secure environment to grow and excel in life.
A Hardworking Family Gets the Space They Need to Thrive
Azat and her children (Kristina pictured) once lived in an overcrowded apartment sleeping cramped on one couch. After moving into their Habitat home in Glendale, Kristina and Arthur now have the rest and personal space they need to focus on school.
“Everybody is happy, and I feel more secure. The kids feel free-er to focus and learn. Their grades have improved!”
Today, the family is thriving in their safe and stable home. Thanks to the extra space, they can stay in touch with their Armenian roots – hosting family members and sharing dishes with their community of friends. This is all thanks to San Gabriel Valley Habitat supporters and donors, just like you!
How You Can Help
- Advocate for affordable housing with SGV Habitat and Habitat for Humanity International
- Support the #CostOfHome Campaign
- Strengthen enforcement of fair housing laws, including the Fair Housing Act and other state and local regulations prohibiting racial discrimination in housing markets
- Donate to show your support to fix the housing crisis in the San Gabriel Valley and beyond
- Sign up for SGV Habitat’s e-newsletters by scrolling to the bottom of sgvhabitat.org
- Share this article and educate others on the importance of affordable housing
Volunteer Spotlight: Justin
Justin (pictured below) is our last volunteer feature for #NationalVolunteerMonth. Born in San Gabriel and raised in Azusa, he has been volunteering with Habitat for over two years!
“I wanted to help local organizations that would affect a greater amount of people. Habitat’s office was just a 3-minute drive from my home! I started helping with clerical work and data entry and have been volunteering there ever since.
“On my first day of volunteering at Habitat, I learned that Habitat builds homes for people in need and bring communities together! Through many programs and events, such as Women Build, there are many opportunities for the community to gather, communicate, and give back.”
He continues to volunteer every few weeks – but why you ask?
“I choose to help others because it makes me so happy to improve or ease someone’s day in any way. I believe that helping others helps us stay connected, and helping out as much as you can brings more joy into the world.
“I think that a safe and stable home is important because it is crucial for one’s mental and physical health. A person needs a safe place to reside and rest at the end of the day. Further, a safe home is especially important for families because it is the place where they grow and create meaningful relationships. A stable home is essential. It offers protection and helps people flourish.
“I encourage everyone, no matter your age, to support Habitat for Humanity by volunteering. There is always something engaging and productive to do, and it is an amazing environment to work in. I know that every task I do when I volunteer will impact so many people. Whether you volunteer in the office or help build a home – there are always friendly people there to assist you. Volunteering at Habitat is always the highlight of my week and I am so glad I get to help this amazing organization.”