Impact of Home Ownership

Decent, affordable shelter provides families with a place to gather and grow. By working with Habitat for Humanity to achieve affordable homeownership, families can transform their lives.

Affordable homeownership can free families from instability, stress and fear and encourage self-reliance and confidence. Studies show that strong and stable households are foundational to child development and growth. When a home fosters — instead of hinders — health and safety, families can flourish. Owning an affordable home also allows homeowners to lift up their entire family by saving for their futures and investing in educational opportunities — bolstering job opportunities and long-term career growth.

Surveys of Habitat homeowners and their families show better financial health, parents who are more confident about meeting their family’s needs, and even improved grades for their children. 

Through a series of evidence briefs, highlighted below, Habitat is bringing to light research on the barriers to affordable housing and the incredible impact it has on individuals and families in the U.S. and beyond.

Wherever we work, we witness tangible evidence that decent, affordable shelter creates a long-lasting and life-changing impact on families and communities.

With every new home, Essex County Habitat for Humanity sees the impact that owning a home has on a child, a family, a neighborhood, and a community. Our experience is supported by evidence. Studies have shown the importance of having a home.

When children grow up in a home that is owned:

  • They score 9% higher on math achievement tests and 7% higher on reading tests (versus a child in a home that is rented).
  • They are 25% more likely to graduate high school and 116% more likely to finish college.
  • They are 59% more likely to be a homeowner themselves in 10 years.
  • Their family income is 100% higher.
  • They are 40% less likely to have a teen pregnancy.
  • They are 50% less likely to grow up in a single-parent household.
  • They are 50% less likely to be on welfare at age 20.
  • They will earn, on average, an income that is 100% higher than a child raised in a rented home.

Simply put, children of homeowners are more successful in life by whatever measure you choose. Their families strengthen their communities.

The good news doesn’t stop there:

  • Homeowners are 25% more likely to vote.
  • They remain in their homes for an average of 8.1 years, while their renting counterparts only stay, on average, 2.1 years.
  • In a study done in New York City in 2001, property values surrounding just one new housing unit rose 8.8% versus an average of 1.6% to the neighborhood as a whole.
  • In a 2013 study of 326 HFH households in Canada, 70% reported fewer bouts of illness and 30% reported fewer doctor visits.

Sources: Haurin, Parcel, Haurin 2000; Homeownership Alliance of Nonprofit Downpayment Providers; Harkness and Newman 2003