Housing and Education

“Housing as a Platform”

Housing is a crucial platform on which to build educational success.

In 2016-2017 school year, 40,934 students in Washington State were defined as homeless; that is, children who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. This lack of stability means homeless students are at risk on a number of academic success indicators, including absenteeism, mobility, and suspension/expulsion, with a graduation rate of less that 50%.

Achieving the desired outcomes we wish to see – thriving young adults, an end to intergenerational poverty, housing stability, and improved access to expanding learning opportunities (ELOs) – will require housing, education, and out-of-school time sectors to work together to asses and improve services and leverage resources.

Building off work from our Housing and Education Pilot, in August of 2017, HDC and our partners School’s Out Washington (SOWA) and the King County Housing Authority (KCHA) – with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – established a Housing and Expanded Learning Opportunities (HELO) Network to: improve the quality of youth programs for children living in affordable housing; engage and motivate children and youth to participate in on-site programs; offer low or no cost access to trainings and professional development, resulting in well-trained staff serving youth programs in housing; create a true and mutually beneficial connection between affordable housing providers and the youth development field; and track and evaluate our network success for scalability and replicability.

Contact Loren for more information on getting involved with the HELO network, or our work at the intersection of housing and education.

Below are links to research studying the intersection of housing and education, current local and regional programs working to collaboratively improve outcomes, and opportunities to contribute.

Research Resources:

Where We Live+Where We Learn

Housing as a Platform

In School Everyday

HUD: Evidence Matters

The Positive Impacts of Affordable Housing on Education

How Housing Matters

Back to School: Making the Link Between Housing and Education

In 2015, at a Housing And series event, put on by HDC and PSRC, numerous local leaders helped facilitate a discussion on the intersection between housing and education. Here is the report out. Check out the amazing work and partnerships that are working locally to ensure high quality education for all students.

Moving Forward:

  • Support Housing Authorities’ Education Initiatives such as King County’s, Seattle’s, and Tacoma’s.
  • Advocate for policies that increase funding for more affordable housing to ensure housing stability and better educational outcomes.
  • Look into service programs that provide resources and assistance to students experiencing homelessness.