Decent and affordable housing has far-reaching consequences for people’s health, quality of life, and access to opportunities, but these consequences are not always well understood. To inform public debate about assisted housing policy and strengthen policy outcomes, Housing Assistance Matters highlights research and analysis about the need for and benefits of well-managed public and assisted housing. Using a multimedia approach, this initiative draws upon research by Urban Institute scholars and others to explore key connections between all forms of rental assistance and outcomes for individuals, families, and communities.

One in Four: America’s Housing Lottery (Video)

Housing policy has the ability to exacerbate or mitigate extreme income inequality in American cities. In cities like New York and San Francisco, where incomes are growing and inequality is increasing, rising prices and rents can displace poor families. But affordable housing secures a place for low-income people in communities with growing tax bases and improved services. Families with access to better schools, quality transportation, recreational facilities, and other community services can improve their quality of life and provide greater opportunities for their children.

From “Housing Assistance Matters Initiative” by Reed Jordan, Erika C. Poethig, Pamela Blumenthal, Justin Milner, John McGinty, Matthew Johnson, Susan J. Popkin, Margery Austin Turner, Priya Saxena, Graham MacDonald, Lisa Dubay, Carlos Martín, Jennifer Biess, Mary K. Cunningham, Josh Leopold, Katya Abazajian, and Liza Getsinger (Urban Institute).