We get it. Owning is a big step. There is a lot in its favor though – and research is constantly emerging and shedding light on the long-term benefits of affordable homeownership. Here are some of the major findings that lead us to believe so fully in the link between affordable homeownership and healthy families and neighborhoods.



  • A home is typically the largest asset a family will have and its equity increases a family’s wealth over time.

  • An affordable mortgage gives families a predictable, controlled payment amount for their shelter for decades, as opposed to having to face the volatility of rent increases that plague quickly changing city markets.

  • A typical homeowner will be ahead of a typical renter by a multiple of 45 on a lifetime financial achievement scale. 

  • Families living in affordable homes have been found to have double the discretionary income of their neighbors in high-cost housing, putting them in a position to buy health insurance, pay down debt, save for education or start a business.



  • Families living in quality affordable housing experience less health issues, are significantly less likely to require emergency room care for respiratory illnesses, are able to dedicate more than twice as much of their income to health, and are significantly less likely to forgo needed doctor’s visits and medications.

  • Homeowners have a significant health advantage over renters, on average. Homeowners are 2.5 percent more likely to have good health. When adjusting for an array of demographic, socioeconomic, and housing–related characteristics, the homeowner advantage increases to 3.1 percent.



  • All other things being equal, children of homeowners do better in school (higher test scores and lower anti-social behaviors) and have lower crime and drug usage rates. 

  • Homeowners are more likely to be involved in community-based civic engagements, local elections and volunteer work compared to renters.

  • Children who move three or more times for negative reasons (such as an eviction or a family’s need for lower rent) are 15% less likely to graduate from high school and 68% less likely to complete college compared to those who never moved.



  • A family in a new home spends an average of 3/5 of its income on goods and services from local businesses.

  • Criminal behavior is negatively correlated with the availability of quality, affordable housing in an area, which means the less housing churn there is in a neighborhood, the lower the crime rate.

  • When housing is affordable and near transit or job centers, residents have stronger economic prospects and employers can more easily attract and retain staff.

  • School funding is tied to enrollment numbers.  When neighborhood vacancy rates increase it creates a domino effect of destabilization in community institutions.




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