Homeownership is an A+

Last month, we discussed the impact stable homeownership has on children's health and wellbeing. But, it’s not just the physical health that’s impacted – a child’s social development and education are linked to his or her housing situation.

Consider this scenario – a grade-school aged child lives in low-income rental housing. Though his home has two parents who are invested in his well being, he is subjected to frequent moving as his parents struggle to find a renting situation that is safe and stable. Each move changes his school zoning, and puts him in a new classroom with a new teacher, sometimes in the middle of an academic year. Progress tracking is inconsistent, teachers can’t identify challenges and he fails to meet educational milestones as a result. This scenario doesn’t even begin to touch the implications of social development that occur when children are forced to frequently abandon and make new friends.

Statistically, children in under-resourced communities lag behind their peers in standardized tests. There are a few causes that shape this trend: residential instability, absenteeism and comparatively worse schools. Homeownership can have a positive impact in each of these areas.

Homeowners stay put. A study by National Association of Home Builders shows that the average homeowner lives in their house for 13 years. Coincidentally, that’s the length of time a typical US child spends in the public school system. Residential stability allows students to progress through schools where teachers and administrators know them and are invested in their education. They also keep a similar group of peers, spurring strong social development during crucial formative years.

Health and homeownership are linked in children. If you haven’t already, read our recent blog post on homeownership impact on health in children. Absenteeism can be greatly reduced if students are healthy and able to go to school.

Homeowners invest in their neighborhood, including schools. When it comes time to vote and pay taxes, homeowners contribute to the health and success of their local schools. Homeowners are twice as likely to vote, and electing local representatives who are dedicated to your schools can have a positive impact on school funding and opportunities.

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