About How Housing Matters | How Housing Matters

Since 2008, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has invested $25 million in grants to support 42 research projects exploring how access to quality, affordable housing can strengthen families and revitalize communities.

This, combined with additional research funded by others, has shown the value of quality, affordable housing well beyond the provision of shelter: It improves school performance, diminishes health problems for both children and adults, and decreases psychological stress – among other benefits.

With support from the Foundation, the Urban Institute curates this research on How Housing Matters, an online portal that provides access to the growing body of research on how housing matters to other pivotal drivers of individual and community success.

The nonprofit Urban Institute is dedicated to elevating the debate on social and economic policy. For nearly five decades, Urban scholars have conducted research and offered evidence-based solutions that improve lives and strengthen communities across a rapidly urbanizing world. Their objective research helps expand opportunities for all, reduce hardship among the most vulnerable, and strengthen the effectiveness of the public sector.

The How Housing Matters site is both a clearinghouse for crosscutting research and a platform for engaging practitioners, policymakers, and researchers across a range of fields. The resources on the site offer practical tools for those committed to using evidence and an interdisciplinary approach to create higher-quality housing and develop partnerships that engage across sectors to improve individual and community outcomes.

Through How Housing Matters, the Foundation and the Institute hope to encourage practice and policy innovations that facilitate collaboration among leaders and policymakers in housing, education, health and economic development. The ultimate goal is to better and more cost-effectively help families lead healthy, successful lives.


Maya Brennan, Editor

Maya Brennan is a senior policy associate in the Research to Action Lab at the Urban Institute. Ms. Brennan has written extensively about the role of housing in improving outcomes in education, health, aging, and economic self-sufficiency. Follow her @maya_brennan on Twitter.

Veronica Gaitán, Editor

Veronica Gaitán is a digital communications manager with the Research to Action Lab at the Urban Institute. She is responsible for managing the How Housing Matters site.

Kimberly Burrowes, Contributor

Kimberly Burrowes is a technical assistance specialist with the Research to Action Lab at the Urban Institute. Her work has centered around participatory planning practices, urban resilience through disaster-related resettlement strategies, and low-income housing solutions from an international perspective.

Oriya Cohen, Contributor

Oriya Cohen is a policy analyst at the Research to Action Lab at the Urban Institute. He works on issues of housing and economic development and their intersections with environmental issues, transit, and education.

Aaron Shroyer, Contributor

Aaron Shroyer is a policy analyst at the Research to Action Lab at the Urban Institute. His work synthesizes evidence for debates on housing policy, homelessness, child welfare, and revitalization.

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