Apartment Rentals Home to Fewer School-Aged Children
Large rental apartment buildings are not a burden to local school systems, according to a new study by NAHB confirming that significantly fewer children are found in those multifamily residences than any other type of housing.
NAHB’s analysis has also found that enough local income typically is generated by the construction of a new multifamily rental building to offset the increased educational expenses of the school-aged children who will be living there.
An analysis of 2000 data from the Bureau of the Census shows that 100 households in rental apartments in buildings of all sizes have only about 34 school-aged children. By comparison, 76 similarly aged children can be found in the same number of households renting single-family houses.
Among 100 households living in rental buildings with at least 20 units, there are only 20 children, the study found.
An NAHB study last year of American Housing Survey data found 37 school-aged children in 100 multifamily rentals and 62 in single-family rentals.
The latest findings are especially relevant at a time when the cost of public education, already the biggest budgetary item for most local governments, continues to grow and is often used by no-growth advocates as a rationale for their opposition to new housing. Of the more than $1.18 trillion spent by local governments in the U.S. during the 2002-2003 fiscal year, 35.8% was for primary and secondary education, according to the Census Bureau’s Government Division.
The NAHB study did find variations among different metro areas, with a higher than average number of children in rental households in California and Texas, both states with high immigrant populations whose households tend to be larger than those in the general population.
There were 80 school-aged children per 100 multifamily rental households in Visalia-Tulare-Porterville, Calif., which was the highest in the country for this type of housing. Six other California metro areas were in the top 10 for the number of children, and three were in Texas.
At the lowest end of the spectrum, there were only 10 children found in 100 multifamily rental households in Iowa City, Iowa.
California was ranked highest with 50 children in every 100 multifamily rental housing units, and North Dakota was the lowest, with 17.
The Census data show that there are more school-aged children in single-family rental homes than in multifamily rentals in every one of the 297 metro areas included in the analysis.
The new information from NAHB can help local jurisdictions avoid overestimating the cost of multifamily developments and make more informed decisions about residential growth, according to the authors of the report.
For more information, e-mail Ann Marie Moriarty at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8350.