New PAHRC Research Shows That Children Living in Assisted Homes Are Starting a Step Behind Their Low-Income, Unassisted Peers on the Road to Educational Success

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HAI Group sponsored report finds that children living in homes made affordable through public programs have higher rates of learning disabilities, ADHD, developmental delays, and emotional disturbances.

Access to the internet and books, enrichment activities, learning supports such as eyeglasses and nutritious meals, and programs tailored to children who have learning disabilities or special needs can help assisted children overcome some of the obstacles they face.

Public and affordable housing programs provide housing stability to low-income families and serve our most vulnerable populations—those groups that face the greatest challenges, like poor health, domestic upheaval, and under-developed labor market skills, as well as financial setbacks. New research by the Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation (PAHRC) shows that children whose parents seek out and receive housing assistance are already facing more barriers to educational success, on average, than their low-income, unassisted peers.

The study, titled “A Platform to Learn: How Housing Programs Can Support the Educational Needs of Children Living in Publicly Supported Housing,” showed that children living in homes made affordable through public programs have higher rates of learning disabilities, ADHD, developmental delays, and emotional disturbances, as well as higher rates of illnesses like asthma, and higher rates of potential environmental stressors that can detract from educational achievement. They also have less access to quality schools, the internet, and enrichment activities that support better learning outcomes than do their low-income, unassisted peers.

The study authors found that the main barriers holding housing-assisted children back are learning disabilities and related conditions, environmental stressors, food insecurity, and a lack of access to educational tools and enrichment opportunities.

Despite these barriers, the research also found that housing assistance is linked to fewer school absences, better healthcare access, and higher rates of parental involvement in school for children living in publicly supported homes compared to their low-income, unassisted peers.

Housing providers can help improve the educational outcomes of more children who reside on their properties by working with community partners to offer assistance that targets the barriers these children face. “Access to the internet and books, enrichment activities, learning supports such as eyeglasses and nutritious meals, and programs tailored to children who have learning disabilities or special needs can help assisted children overcome some of the obstacles they face,” said Keely Stater, Ph.D., PAHRC’s Director of Research and Industry Intelligence and the study’s lead author. “Programs that help parents navigate their children’s educational experience, like those that facilitate connections with schools or with behavioral health professionals who deal with learning disabilities, and those that can connect students to opportunities they may not have access to can also help more assisted students succeed.”

This work is made possible by the generosity of HAI Group. To read the full report, visit https://www.housingcenter.com/research/research-reports/.

About PAHRC
The Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation (PAHRC) at HAI Group is a nonprofit research center dedicated to conducting research that promotes the national conversation about the importance of affordable housing. PAHRC spotlights the impact, outcomes, and value affordable housing brings to the families it serves and to the communities it supports, delivering data and tools that help researchers, practitioners, and advocates build an evidence-based case for why affordable housing matters. For more information, visit https://www.housingcenter.com/research.

About HAI Group
HAI Group® is the marketing name for a family of companies founded by and dedicated to housing, and headquartered in Cheshire, Connecticut. While we are recognized as a pioneer of public and affordable housing insurance programs, insurance is not our only strength. We protect, preserve, and promote the sustainability of affordable housing with a wide array of products that support the challenges housing organizations face, offering insurance, strategic capital, research, advocacy, and training to meet the needs of over 1,500 housing organizations and more than 12,000 housing professionals across the nation. For a complete list of our companies, visit http://www.housingcenter.com.

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Courtney Rice
HAI Group
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