The role of housing in educational opportunities

September 10, 2021

Academic success begins at home

A family’s living conditions can play a significant role in a child’s educational opportunities and achievements.

Families who spend too much of their income on housing often must make critical trade-offs, including forgoing educational and enrichment opportunities for themselves and their children.

For children, frequent or unplanned moves will often negatively impact achievement. A stable place to call home provides a secure environment and adequate space to study and think. Better lighting, room for a small desk, a parent’s ability to devote time to helping with homework—all of these can lead to improved academic outcomes.

Habitat’s affordable mortgages and loans, energy-efficient construction, and repairs all help to lower housing costs for many families, allowing them to make greater investments in their children’s education. In a 2016 homeowner impact study completed by Habitat for Humanity of Oregon with support from Our Children Oregon, respondents reported that 92 percent of children raised in Habitat homes graduated from high school, exceeding Oregon’s graduation rate at the time by 17 percent. Additionally, 62 percent of children reported receiving better grades since moving into their Habitat home.

Furthermore, adults in stable and affordable housing are more likely to invest in education for themselves—bolstering job opportunities, long-term career growth, social mobility and finances that can help lift up their entire family.

No matter one’s age, having a decent place to call home—a place to feel secure—can lead to future success.