Furman Center Wins Grant to Continue Work on Housing Instability and Children's Educational Outcomes

Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy   (New York)


The Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy and NYU's Institute for Education and Social Policy have been awarded a grant by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.  This work follows up on the research they completed as participants in the NNIP cross-site project on Foreclosures Effects on Children, funded by the Open Society Foundations.

The research will test whether and how housing instability affects students’ educational outcomes using longitudinal data that links foreclosures and other kinds of housing upheavals to individual public school student records in four major markets suffering from unusual housing instability—New York City, San Diego, Fresno and Pinellas County, Florida. Because current housing instability often is attributable to changes and volatility in mortgage and housing markets rather than to changes in a family’s own characteristics, researchers can use a variety of empirical strategies to separate the effects of housing instability from the effects of unobserved family characteristics. The primary strategy will be to compare the educational outcomes of students who have experienced housing instability to those of otherwise-similar students who have not experienced such instability, before and after the instability. Various instrumental variable strategies to examine the causal relationships between housing instability and educational outcomes will be employed, along with strategies to better understand the mechanisms by which housing instability affects children’s educational outcomes.

Research findings will provide policymakers with information about whether, when, and how they should intervene in housing markets or tailor educational processes to reduce the negative effects that housing instability may cause. The findings also will help policymakers at every level of government to better estimate the benefits of providing more stable housing.