New partnership connects low-income families searching for housing with school quality information
GreatSchools.org and AffordableHousing.com partner to reduce housing frictions, increase housing voucher recipients’ access to neighborhood school information
OAKLAND, CA (February 17, 2022) — As many low-income families browse where to live, they often lack access to school information in their prospective neighborhoods. GreatSchools.org, the nation’s leading provider of K-12 school information, and AffordableHousing.com (formerly GoSection8.com), the largest database of affordable housing listings, are hoping to change that.
The organizations today announced an expanded partnership that will connect AffordableHousing.com’s 60,000 daily users directly with GreatSchools school quality data on the site’s real estate listings.
Poverty status and income-based neighborhood segregation are known to affect children’s short- and long-term success and social mobility. While housing vouchers offer parents the chance to move to lower-poverty, higher opportunity areas, research suggests there may still be frictions that prevent these families from moving to neighborhoods with higher-performing schools.
A recent randomized evaluation, led by Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)-affiliated researcher Peter Bergman, examined how access to GreatSchools’ school quality information on AffordableHousing.com listings could reduce such frictions among nearly 2,000 participants of the federally-subsidized Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. Researchers discovered that having access to school ratings helped low-income families to move to neighborhoods assigned to higher-performing, less racially-segregated schools.
“From the perspective of the Section 8 HCV Program, we know a family is empowered when given the tools to make decisions that impact their family. This includes important information on education in the communities that families are looking to move to,” said Richard Cupelli, CEO and Founder of AffordableHousing.com. “Thanks to this research, we have confirmed that simply sharing school quality information is a tangible way to support Section 8 participants in the path to new opportunities for their family.”
“This partnership exemplifies what we strive to do: translate research insights into meaningful action that supports families in pursuit of a great education for their child,” added GreatSchools CEO Jon Deane. “Reducing a barrier many low-income families face in accessing school quality information is an important step. We look forward to continued collaboration to bring more of our educational and parenting resources to the AffordableHousing.com community.”
In a new case study, J-PAL highlighted the policy implications of providing low-income families easier access to school quality information through such widespread platforms like AffordableHousing.com.
“Through rigorous evaluation, we now know that simply providing school quality data to low-income families in search of housing can be a cost-effective intervention to increase academic opportunities among students experiencing poverty.” said Vincent Quan, Co-Executive Director of J-PAL North America, a research center based at MIT working to reduce poverty through evidence-based policy intervention. “We are excited to see how this private and non-profit collaboration, acting on research results, is enabling families to make more informed decisions about their home and schools to improve economic mobility.”
GreatSchools and AffordableHousing.com representatives are available for media interviews.
GreatSchools is the leading nonprofit providing high-quality information that supports parents pursuing a great education for their child, schools striving for excellence, and communities working to diminish inequities in education. We are the only national organization that collects and analyzes data from all 51 state departments of education and the federal government to provide analysis, insights, and school quality ratings for parents, partners, researchers, and policymakers. Over 49 million users visit GreatSchools’ award-winning website annually to learn about schools in their area, explore research insights, and access thousands of free, evidence-based parenting resources to support their child’s learning and well-being. Learn more at GreatSchools.org and join us on Twitter and Facebook.
AffordableHousing.com is pioneering a new standard for affordable housing by creating innovative solutions that help solve and simplify some of the most complex challenges that impact the availability of affordable housing in the United States. Over the last 18 years, AffordableHousing.com has built trusted relationships with over 700 government agency partners and has become the largest affordable housing listing network in the country. AffordableHousing.com, previously GoSection8.com, is accessed by tens of millions of visitors, who perform hundreds of millions of searches each year. The AffordableHousing.com platform is designed to increase efficiency by putting all affordable rental housing in one place on one common and easy to use platform. The technology and expansive network work together and make it easier for anyone to find and apply to thousands of rental assistance programs by centralizing information and by streamlining the application process.