Capitol Correspondence - 04.01.18

New Brookings Report on Importance of Housing for Upward Mobility

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On March 15, 2018 the Brookings Institute released a new report exploring the ways in which housing can affect the lives and success of individuals, and how the effect varies for different segments of the population. Click here to read the announcement, and here to read the full report. See below for the report’s 4 main recommendations.


1. Improve data collection, sharing, and evaluation. Housing-based hubs and other community collaborations are hampered by their capacity to develop and share data, as well as weaknesses in techniques for measuring effectiveness. Improving techniques and processes could help ameliorate these obstacles.

2. Improve budgetary coordination and funding experimentation. Maximizing the return on investments in housing-based initiatives requires flexible budgeting, as well as planning and coordination across agencies. This requires political leadership and policy reforms at the federal, state, city, and local levels.

3. Experiment with different models to organize and manage housing-based services. Establishing and operating multisector programs within a hub puts great responsibilities on the management staff. Depending on the community and the stage of development of the housing hub, different models of management to link home and services might be most appropriate.

4. Strengthen housing-health partnerships. Several hospital systems have undertaken significant housing-health partnerships. Some could be described as responses to financial “sticks,” such as using housing initiatives to comply with community benefit requirements on nonprofit hospitals. Others are “good citizen” philanthropic examples of the hospital assisting its local community. And others are creative new business models. These partnerships could have a number of benefits to the community, and governments should consider how best to expand and support them.