A new website is bringing together the latest news and research on how housing affects families and communities.

Launched by the Urban Land Institute (ULI), with the support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, HowHousingMatters.org aims to draw the connections between housing and better education opportunities for children, strong foundations for families, and healthier residents and neighborhoods.

"How Housing Matters will greatly enhance ULI's efforts to emphasize housing as a cornerstone of communities that are healthy, prosperous, and resilient," said Patrick L. Phillips, ULI global CEO, in a statement. "We're excited about the potential of this website to strengthen our knowledge-sharing initiatives related to housing, help us increase the scale and scope of our housing activities, and reinforce the connection between housing and other sectors." The MacArthur Foundation has been a key supporter of housing-related research, investing more than $25 million in projects exploring how decent, stable, affordable housing may lead to strong families and vibrant communities. The research will produce findings through 2017. This work, as well as research funded by others, is showing that housing has value beyond the provision of shelter.

"Housing is at the core of how we tackle some of the most important issues we face as a society—how we ensure our children thrive and learn, and our elderly age with the dignity and care they deserve," said Julia Stasch, MacArthur interim president. "The How Housing Matters web portal will be a resource for advocates, experts, policymakers, and the press as they share knowledge and engage around innovative practices that lead to improved housing, health, education, and economic opportunities for all Americans."

The site is managed by the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing.

In addition to ULI, other expert resources including the National Housing Conference, Urban Institute, and Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies will provide content for the site. How Housing Matters is a resource for:

  • Housing industry participants looking for practical information on building and improving housing that serves as a platform for family and community success;
  • Professionals in education, economic development, and public health who are interested in collaborative approaches to address individual and community needs;
  • Policymakers seeking the most compelling data and analyses that "connect the dots" between housing and educational success, economic prosperity, and public health;
  • Advocates making the case for housing's essential role in supporting individual and community well-being; and
  • Researchers working to deepen the understanding of the interrelationship of housing with other pivotal factors in people's lives.