The role of housing in educational opportunities

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 2015 report “Impacts of Habitat for Humanity Homeownership,” researchers from the Wilder Foundation determined that almost two-thirds of Habitat homeowners with children in Minnesota say they feel more confident about their ability to fund their kids’ college education.

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.

Now a Rhodes Scholar, Jacob shares how his proudest moment was the night that his family slept in their new Habitat home.

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Sacramento Habitat has begun to measure the paths paved by the new beginnings of the 100 families it’s helped.

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Amanda shares how being around the Habitat volunteers and staff members who helped build her family’s home gave her a new perspective on the possibilities for her future.

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“Not even in my dreams did I imagine living in a house like this,” Jika told us after she moved from an unsafe mud hut to a new Habitat home.

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