MacArthur Grant to Support Study of Impact of Housing
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced last month that it will invest $25 million in new research to gain a better understanding of the impact of housing on the well-being of children, families and communities.
The nation lost two million affordable rental homes over the past decade as markets soared, federal subsidies waned, owners divested and aging properties deteriorated beyond repair, the foundation said. The need for affordable housing is growing, with 14 million American households spending more than half of their income on housing or living in substandard conditions; and for every new low-cost unit built, two are being razed, abandoned or converted into condos or high-end rentals.
“This new research will produce a deep, empirical-evidence base to show how housing affects children’s cognitive, emotional and behavioral development and how housing choices shape the economic, emotional and physical well-being of adults,” said Jonathan Fanton, president of the foundation.
MacArthur will create an interdisciplinary research network, bringing together housing scholars, policymakers and practitioners with leading experts in health-related disciplines, child development, education policy and labor markets.
MacArthur will also fund:
- Demonstration projects and evaluation research to test the impact of different housing policies, such as the large-scale preservation of affordable rental housing
- Rigorous cost-benefit studies, including an assessment of the efforts of relocation to low-poverty communities in the Moving-to-Opportunity program
- Research to analyze the factors that affect the supply and cost of affordable housing, including variations among local markets
“We expect this research to suggest ways to make U.S. housing policy more effective and efficient,” said Fanton. “We want it to provoke more far-reaching, new ideas about the importance of housing and how the net benefits of our investments can best be realized and understood.”