The critical ways that housing matters to children, families, and communities will be explored in 13 separate research projects funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The foundation has awarded nearly $6 million to support a broad scope of research efforts that will produce a base of empirical evidence to show how housing affects children’s cognitive, emotional, and behavioral development and how housing choices shape the economic, physical, and emotional well-being of adults.

The initiative is based on the premise that stable, affordable housing may be an essential platform that promotes positive outcomes in education, employment, and physical health by helping to ensure a greater return from other social and public investments, said foundation officials.

The grants, selected from 217 applicants, are the first in a series of awards under the foundation’s $25 million initiative on how matters to families and communities. Initial proposals for the next round are due March 22.

The 13 grant recipients are:

  • ColumbiaUniversity –  $427,000 to the Department of Economics to research the effects of environmental policy on infants in poor and minority neighborhoods;
  • Cornell University – $360,000 to the College of Human Ecology to research the intersection between mental health and housing among young children;
  • Johns Hopkins University – $300,000 to the Institute for Policy Studies to research the relationship between housing affordability and parental investment in children;
  •  Ohio State University – $646,000 to the Research Foundation to research the effects that housing has on the well-being of children;
  •  Princeton University – $10,000 to support an ethnographic dissertation on the social organization of suburban poverty;
  • RAND Corp. – $300,000 to research inclusionary zoning;
  • St. Michael’s Hospital (Toronto) – $738,000 to the Centre for Research on Inner City Health to research the effects of mixed-income housing redevelopment on mental health and child development;
  • University of Illinois at Chicago –  $390,000 to the Jane Addams College of Social Work to assess adolescents’ emotional well-being following foreclosure;
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – $226,000 to the School of Social Work to research the effect that housing assistance and instability has on children’s health;
  • University of Michigan – $750,000 to the National Poverty Center to research the effects of the foreclosure and economic crisis on vulnerable workers and families;
  •  University of Wisconsin-Madison – $194,000 to the Institute for Research on Poverty to support a benefit-cost analysis of rental subsidies and economic dependence among low-income families;
  •  Urban Institute – $750,000 to research the role of housing in child welfare outcomes; and
  • Yeshiva University – $750,000 to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine to research the intersection between subsidized housing and health outcomes for adults.