Habitat for Humanity International's Evidence Brief: Why Home Matters

Through a series of evidence briefs, Habitat is bringing to light research on the impact that affordable housing has on individuals and families in the U.S. at home and beyond.

Why Home Matters Evidence Series Overview Graphic
MARATHON, FL, USA (7/09/19)-Didier Perez and Anny Amador and their two children, 5-year-old Samantha and 1-year-old Dylan, moved into their Habitat home in Marathon, Florida, in March 2019. After the rental where they had been living flooded and was heavily damaged during Hurricane Irma in September 2017, the family bounced around from one place to another. Didier, who works construction, is a long-time volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys and is grateful to have his own home. “This is the maximum that I can achieve,” he says. “I know that we are not going to be homeless again.” © Habitat for Humanity International/Jason Asteros

Research series: What Are the Benefits of Homeownership?

Improving affordable homeownership leads to numerous outcomes that extend beyond the house.
These include greater economic stability, access to quality education, increased civic and social engagement, better health, and a reduced environmental footprint. This evidence brief provides an overview of how families can prosper with greater access to decent, affordable housing.

PORTLAND, OREGON (07/26/2019)-Lizet Molina Neri and her son, Alan (9), in front of the Habitat home that she helped build. ©Habitat for Humanity International/Jason Asteros

Research series: Who Has Access to Homeownership?

Homeownership can transform lives. It creates long-lasting and life-changing impact on families and communities, from providing a source of wealth and asset-building to influencing health and educational outcomes and contributing to positive community development. The first step in bringing homeownership to more families, however, is to understand who currently has access to homeownership and what factors play a role.

IMMOKALEE, FLORIDA, USA (07/24/18)-Magadala Julien, with her son Zachary (3), was able to work with Habitat for Humanity of Collier County to build her home after the apartment she was renting was severely damaged during Hurricane Irma. © Habitat for Humanity International/Jason Asteros

Research series: How Do Racial Inequities Limit Homeownership Opportunities?

Black and Hispanic/Latino households face unique barriers to homeownership that prevent access to the beneficial outcomes associated with homeownership, such as wealth building, improved health, and higher educational attainment. Historically, structural and institutional obstacles faced by racial and ethnic minorities compounded over time to produce these inequities.

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE (04/26/18)- Cyniah Osborne, 6, tours her future home during Habitat for Humanity’s Home is the Key dedication ceremony in Nashville. © Habitat for Humanity International/Jason Asteros

Research series: How Does Homeownership Contribute to Wealth Building?

For low-income households and households of color in the U.S., homeownership can be a catalyst to wealth building. In this evidence brief, Habitat takes a look at how these gains from homeownership vary by income, gender, and race/ethnicity.

CANA-16-14791-EM_461373 – resized

Research series: How Does Housing Affect Children's Education?

The location and condition of a child’s house plays a significant role in their physical, cognitive and emotional development and well-being, which impacts their education through improved attendance, better cognitive and behavioral health, and improved academic achievement. Making direct connections between housing and its impact on children’s education is challenging. However, studies have drawn a pathway between owning a decent, affordable and stable home and experiencing positive educational outcomes.

BIRMINGHAM, AL, USA (9/17/15)- Pratina Woods and her three-year-old granddaughter, Jhonna Florence, at their home in Birmingham, Alabama.  “This was a blessing to me,” says Pratina, “I have always dreamed of being a homeowner.”  Embassy Homes built Pratina’s house during Habitat’s 2014 Home Builders Blitz. ©Habitat for Humanity International/Jason Asteros

Research series: How Does Housing Impact Health?

Social determinants of health are factors that encompass how people are born, grow, live, work and age and that affect their health outcomes. These include aspects that range from socioeconomic status to the neighborhood and physical environment and are recognized by multiple health care organizations and other groups as necessary for improving overall health and reducing health disparities.