Affordable Housing Linked to Children’s Intellectual Ability

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 9, 2014
CONTACT: Jill Rosen
Office: 443-997-9906
Cell: 443-547-8805
jrosen@jhu.edu

It’s long been accepted – with little science to back it up – that people should spend roughly a third of their income on housing. It turns out, that’s about how much a low-income family should spend to optimize their children’s brainpower.

Johns Hopkins University researchers explored the effects of affordable housing on the cognitive development, physical health, and emotional wellbeing of children living in poverty. Though how much a family spent on housing had no affect on a child’s physical or social health, when it came to cognitive ability, it was a game changer.

When a family spent more than half of their income on housing, their children’s reading and math ability tended to suffer, found Sandra J. Newman, a Johns Hopkins professor of policy studies, working with researcher C. Scott Holupka. Children’s cognitive abilities also took a hit a hit when families spent less than 20 percent of their income on housing.

“Families spending about 30 percent of their income…Read More