Creating a Door out of Poverty Starts with Partnerships

by Maya Brennan, Jennifer Hicks, and Jennifer Peck – January 11, 2017


People’s lives center around their home. On average, Americans spend two-thirds of their time either indoors or outdoors at home. For kids under age 11, the typical share is nearly three-quarters. And for those without a home, the absence of such a basic need makes everything else more difficult.

That’s why nearly any effort to effect change—in energy efficiency, health, financial self-sufficiency, or education—is stronger when it employs housing as a platform or partner.

For speakers and attendees at the 2016 How Housing Matters conference, an overarching question was, After growing the evidence base and increasing awareness about the central importance of housing, how can we act on it? How can we build policies, programs, and partnerships that treat people like the integrated whole that they are?

The three brief case studies that the National Housing Conference released to accompany the conference demonstrate the potential for mission-driven entities to make headway—despite challenges—and open opportunities for people of all incomes and backgrounds to succeed.

Getting Started