How Housing Matters to Families and Communities

A Commentary Series

In collaboration with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s How Housing Matters Initiative, Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity will be running a series of commentaries in November and December around the key questions and issues raised in the How Housing Matters conference, held on November 2, 2011, in Washington, DC. 


The series will tackle the relationship between housing and three topics: health, economic opportunity, and education.


The How Housing Matters conference is a project of the National Building Museum in partnership with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Office of Policy Development & Research, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  For more information on the conference, please click here. To view case studies prepared for the conference by the Center for Housing Policy, click here.


The How Housing Matters Initiative is a five-year, $25 million research initiative to deepen the literature on the effect that investments in affordable housing have on social and economic outcomes, beyond shelter. It explores the notion that affordable housing may be an essential "platform" that promotes positive outcomes in education, employment, and physical and mental health, among other areas. For more information on the Initiative, please click here.

How Housing Matters: An Introductory Note

Michael A. Stegman, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation - Posted November 2, 2011

Helping the Doubly-Disadvantaged: The Role of Neighborhoods in Health

Greg J. Duncan, University of California, Irvine, Stacy Tessler Lindau, University of Chicago, Jens Ludwig, University of Chicago, and Robert Whitaker, Temple University - Posted November 2, 2011

The Housing Vaccine: Why Housing Matters to Young Children

Dr. Megan Sandel and Dr. Deborah A. Frank, Children’s HealthWatch - Posted November 14, 2011

Lower Earnings: An Unintended Consequence of Section 8 Voucher Receipt

Deven Carlson, University of Wisconsin-Madison - Posted November 28, 2011

The Missing Pieces: Housing, Health, and the Moving to Opportunity Experiment

Thomas D. Cook, Northwestern University - Posted December 5, 2011

How Housing Matters: Housing As a Platform for Improving Health Outcomes

Shaun Donovan, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Posted December 5, 2011

Rental Assistance: A Drag on Work or a Platform for Economic Opportunity?

Jeffrey Lubell, Center for Housing Policy - Posted December 12, 2011

Narrowing the Economic Achievement Gap: The Role of Housing

Heather Schwartz, RAND Corporation - Posted January 12, 2012