Stable Home, Better Grades: The Positive Correlation between Affordable Homeownership and Educational Outcomes

When a family successfully enters into homeownership, it has a positive ripple effect which touches every other aspect of their lives.  One such benefit worth noting is the greater educational success experienced by the whole family, which can broaden opportunities for wealth building and give a leg up to future generations. In fact, many homeowners go on to complete higher education courses and their children miss less days of school, perform better on standardized tests, and they are more likely to attend college. Homeownership does so much more than give families the stability they need in the moment – it sets the stage for prosperity and growth long-term, setting a foundation for their future.

While the direct causes are not fully known, the positive effects of stable and affordable housing on education are well-documented and stem from a variety of factors. Perhaps the most immediate is the change in environment. For example, from renting an apartment to moving into a home, or from being in an apartment complex to moving into a neighborhood. If children previously lived in a crowded or noisy area, they may discover it is easier to find personal space to focus on their homework within a new setting. In addition, quality housing has been linked to better health outcomes due to a decrease in dust, mold, and other allergens. This translates to less missed school days, which tend to leave kids struggling to catch up on missed lessons.

Additionally, many families who were previously renting may have experienced multiple moves. This can be due to changes in rental prices, landlords deciding to sell units, degrading home quality, and a host of other factors. Affordable homeownership gives families the ability to stay in one place for the long-haul, making it far less likely that children will have to change schools. When kids get to stay in the same school, they are less likely to be at risk of being left behind or confused by changes in curriculum. They are also better able to form relationships with teachers and their fellow students who provide a safe and familiar community which reduces stress and nurtures their learning.

Future Red Fox Meadows Homeowner, Cassie Elliott with her Three Children

The benefit of established roots also extends to adults, who are better able to form connections with neighbors and retain stable employment. This may be why homeownership is linked to greater overall happiness and satisfaction in adults, traits which also make for more present and engaged parents. Because parents may be less stressed, they are more likely to help with homework and to be emotionally available for their children. These strengthened family relationships can give children a boost in confidence that is invaluable as they tackle their studies and look toward their future aspirations.

Improved self-esteem is one possible reason that children who grow up in an owned home are more likely to go to college. However, the family’s increase in prosperity is often the driving factor. When housing is affordable and equity has accumulated, not only do parents spend more on educational materials for their grade-school aged children, but adults are also more likely to choose to go back to school themselves. For those that do choose to continue their education, the greater career opportunities combined with the wealth invested in their home can make them feel financially secure enough to support their kids with attending higher learning institutions.

Armed with advanced education and a degree, those that grew up in an owned home are likely to have higher earning potential throughout their lifetimes and are more likely to send their own kids to college – potentially even ending a cycle of poverty that may have lasted for generations. As a bonus, the children of homeowners often watch their parents work hard to maintain the family home as parents do everything from performing routine maintenance to balancing the household budget to keeping the house clean and organized. This sets a powerful example of hard work and dedication that can inspire kids throughout their lifetime.

Red Fox Meadows Future Homeowners Working with Habitat Staff, Volunteers, and Neighbors to Build each other’s Homes

For parents who partner with Helena Habitat the benefits stretch even further as their children witness not only the ongoing effort required to maintain a home, but also get to see the adults in their lives putting in the time and sweat to build the home they will soon live in together – a powerful statement of doing whatever it takes to reach a treasured goal, whether it be in their schooling or in their future as resilient and empowered adults.

We want to help you create the best possible future for yourself and your loved ones. If you are interested in partnering with Helena Habitat to build your home, please click here to fill out our pre-qualification form. To support our ability to expand and reach more families with a hand up into the stability and self-reliance that homeownership can bring, please use the buttons below to share this post or Make a Donation. Every dollar helps us build homes, communities, and hope.

Future Rural Homeowner, Terry Sue Johnson-Rogers and her Three Children / Photo is Thanks to Schyler at The Red Lodge Area Community Foundation
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SOURCES:

Beneficial Impacts of Homeownership

http://www.habitatbuilds.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Benefits-of-Homeownership-Research-Summary.pdf

Does Homeownership Affect Education Outcomes?

https://wol.iza.org/articles/does-homeownership-affect-education-outcomes/long#:~:text=Homeownership%20is%20generally%20associated%20with,than%20children%20in%20rental%20households

Housing as a Platform for Improving Education Outcomes among Low-Income Children

https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/25331/412554-Housing-as-a-Platform-for-Improving-Education-Outcomes-among-Low-Income-Children.PDF