A new study, conducted by researchers at the John Hopkins University, sheds light on how spending on housing or living in affordable housing projects could affect the cognitive and emotional abilities of children.
For the study, the experts used data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and its Child Development Supplements. They also sourced information from the 2004-2009 Consumer Expenditure Survey, focusing on households that had incomes below 200 percent of the Federal poverty guideline.
They found that while the amount spent on housing largely affected cognitive abilities - when a family spent more than half of their earning on housing, the child's math and reading abilities suffered. The same effect was observed in families that spent less than 20 percent of their incomes on housing as well.
"Families spending about 30 percent of their income on housing had children with the best cognitive outcomes. It's worse when you pay too little and worse when you pay too much," said Sandra J. Newman - a professor of policy studies and the director of Center on Housing, Neighborhoods and Communities of the university - in a statement.
The researchers explain that families that spend most of their money on housing hardly have anything to spend on their child's books or other educational necessities. On the other hand, families that spent too little on housing end up in distressed dwellings that indirectly affect the child's cognitive health.
"The markedly poorer performance of children in families with extremely low housing cost burdens undercuts the housing policy assumption that a lower housing cost burden is always best," Newman said. "Rather than finding a bargain in a good neighborhood, they're living in low-quality housing with spillover effects on their children's development."
The study comes weeks after another research found how children influence parents' decision of buying a property.
Also take a look at the top child-friendly cities here.
Recently, New York City mayor Bill De Blasio released details of the new affordable housing plans in which he intends to build 80,000 new homes while preserving 120,000 existing homes. While the plan did receive appreciation, some experts think that it is too expensive.
Josh Barro wrote for The New York Times:
"...the city should impose this costly mandate only if it also increases possible development and decreases the cost of building."