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Affordable Housing , Community Development , Homelessness , Reports and Publications , Supportive Housing

Truly Affordable Housing Positively Impacts Intellectual Ability of Children

24 June 2014
John Hopkins University

New study provides data to back up the standard that households should spend no more than 30% of their income on housing costs.  John Hopkins University has recently come out with two new research articles that highlight the findings from a study done to find out the effects affordable housing has on the cognitive development, physical health, and emotional wellbeing of children living in poverty.

With regards to cognitive ability, spending 30% of household income revealed the best outcomes. The study found families that spent less than 20% on housing and those that spent 50% or more had children with less cognitive abilities than families that spend right around 30% on housing.

The study focused on families with incomes at or below 200% of the federal poverty guideline.

Households spending more than 50% of their income on housing did not spend as much on educational enrichment for their children’s development whereas families spending less than 20% of their income on housing were likely living in distressed neighborhoods that can take a toll on children’s ability to focus and thrive.

The study found that families that spent around 30% of their income on housing did indeed spend more on enrichment for their children, enough to make a difference.

The study findings are presented in two new journal articles: Housing Affordability and Investments in Children; and Housing Affordability and Child Well-Being.

Click here for the press release.