The many benefits of affordable housing are outlined in a new report by Enterprise Community Partners.

Impact of Affordable Housing on Families and Communities: A Review of the Evidence Base draws on research from nearly 100 industry reports and academic studies.

“The research is increasingly clear that a place to call home is vital to national progress across sectors, from health and education to our economy and neighborhoods,” says Tiffany Manuel, vice president of Enterprise’s Knowledge, Impact and Strategy group. “It’s essential to increase investment in innovations, products, and programs that tackle critical housing issues.”

The findings point to a need to preserve and grow the existing affordable rental housing stock and to protect programs like the low-income housing tax credit, according to Enterprise.

The review condenses and highlights the latest research to help better understand and communicate the impact of affordable housing. The findings are organized into several key sections, including:

  • Education— Housing instability can seriously jeopardize children’s performance and success in school, and contribute to long-lasting achievement gaps. For example, recent research has shown that students who experience homelessness or hypermobility perform below other low-income students throughout elementary school;
  • Health—Housing instability and homelessness have serious negative impacts on child and adult health. Affordable housing can improve health by providing stability, freeing up resources for food and health care. Research reveals that children in families that have missed a rent payment in the past year are more likely to be in poor health and at higher risk of development delays; and
  • Neighborhood Quality—Affordable housing contributes to significant economic impacts, including increases in local purchasing power, job creation, and new tax revenues. Affordable housing has been shown to have a neutral or positive effect on surrounding property values.

Impact of Affordable Housing on Families and Communities: A Review of the Evidence Base is authored by Amy Brisson and Lindsay Duerr.