Weak Local Schools for Many Families with Housing Assistance | How Housing Matters

Weak Local Schools for Many Families with Housing Assistance

February 08, 2015  
 
 
 

A good education is a cornerstone to a more secure life, yet many low-income parents cannot offer their children this opportunity. Even with housing assistance, many low-income families cannot afford to live in strong school districts. The study “Do Federally Assisted Households Have Access to High-Performing Public Schools?” shows that children in families with federal housing subsidies often live near lower-performing schools than other low-income families.

Major findings:

  • One-third of families in public housing live near schools that are ranked in the bottom 10th for their state.
  • One-fourth of Housing Choice Voucher holders live near schools that are ranked in the bottom 10th for their state.
  • One-fourth of families in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (“Housing Credit”) properties live near elementary schools with test scores in the bottom 10th in the state.
  • Housing Credit properties were distributed more widely across all types of neighborhoods. Larger shares of these homes were near schools in the 40th, 50th, and 60th rankings for their state.
  • Families with housing vouchers, who can theoretically live anywhere, typically live near lower-performing schools than those living in Housing Credit properties. (For more, see “Housing Vouchers Alone Do Not Connect Kids to Strong Schools.”)
  • Although the Housing Credit program better connected families with quality schools and neighborhoods, it also serves slightly better-off families.
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Author: Ingrid Gould Ellen, Amy Schwartz, and Keren Mertens Horn
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