A Multi-site Study of the Educational Well-being of Children in Assisted Housing Programs

Many families with school-aged children participate in assisted housing programs, but not much is known about how these programs help reduce the educational risks associated with residential instability. This project examines the links between assisted housing programs and educational outcomes over time. It goes on to consider other important factors like residential stability, school stability, and school and neighborhood quality that contribute to resilience or to more difficulties.

Site studied are located in Milwaukee, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, New York, and Washington State. The study considers two groups of students at each site starting in third and seventh grades, comparing those who received assisted housing to peers who have been carefully matched on demographic characteristics and levels of psychosocial risk. It follows these students for five years as they progress through elementary, middle, and high school, making developmentally important transitions along the way.

VARC’s role in the project is to conduct the analysis for Milwaukee, using a combination of data from Milwaukee Public Schools and from HUD. Each site has some role in providing technical assistance for the entire study.


MacArthur Foundation


Completed on April 30, 2016