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:
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.
has a significant positive impact on educational achievement. Interestingly,
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.
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.
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.
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.