This month on the Welcome Home blog, we’re focusing loosely on homework in honor of school starting up again. This week, housing stability’s impact on kids’ grades and family health.

As alluded to in our
post on Social Return on Investment
this past July, owning a home yields
both measurable financial benefits as well as benefits that are more
intangible. A 2016
study by the National Association of Realtors®
set out to identify some of
the more impactful intangibles, and came up with the following list:

  • Homeownership
    brings stability to neighborhoods.
    Among people of the same age, same
    income and same marital status, a person is significantly more likely to change
    residence in a given year if he or she was a renter rather than a homeowner.
  • Homeownership
    has a significant positive impact on educational achievement.
    the main reason for this difference is likely due in large part to greater
    neighborhood stability. Ownership behavior by parents such as being responsible
    for maintenance and caring for the home as their own also plays a role modeling
    role. And research has confirmed that access to economic and educational
    opportunities are more prevalent in neighborhoods with high rates of homeownership
    and community involvement.
  • Homeownership
    promotes civic engagement.
    Owning one’s own home promotes a sense of
    attachment to not only the home, but to the neighborhood and community as well.
    Homeowners are more likely to participate in local elections, civic groups and
    neighborhood organizations than are renters.
  • Homeownership
    yields better physical and psychological health.
    While research shows homeowners
    are 2.5 percent more likely to have good health, the relationship between homeownership
    and health benefits has large racial and ethnic disparities.
  • Homeownership
    reduces crime.
    In addition to a greater communal sense of ownership and
    looking out for one another, the study found that foreclosures lead to an
    increase in crimes on a given street of between 1.4 and 2.6 percent.

While specific monetary value can’t be assigned
to each of these intangible benefits of homeownership, there’s no doubt that
investing in homeownership education and advising yields tangible improvements
in the fabric of a community.