The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation plans to invest $25 million over the next five years in research into the causes, effects and solutions to the nation’s affordable-housing crisis. The foundation’s initiative seeks to redress what MacArthur president Jonathan Fanton describes as inadequate research focus on the complex effects of decent and affordable housing.
“A greater national commitment to affordable housing requires a greater understanding of the impact of housing on the well-being of children, families and communities,” said Fanton, in making the announcement on February 12 at New York University’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy.
The foundation plans to create an interdisciplinary “research network” including housing scholars, policymakers and practitioners as well as leading experts in health-related disciplines, child development, education policy and labor markets, aimed in part at creating an environment that will produce the “next generation of scholars” in the study of housing.
“This new research will produce a deep, empirical evidence base to show how housing affects children’s cognitive, emotional and behavioral development and how housing choices shape the economic, emotional and physical well-being of adults,” Fanton said.
The new MacArthur initiative represents the single largest private philanthropic research commitment in the field of affordable housing, second only to the federal government’s research funding through the Department of Housing and Urban Development.