Urban Land Institute And The John D. And Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Launch How Housing Matters Online Portal

Feb 23, 2015, 08:06 ET from Urban Land Institute

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Urban Land Institute (ULI), with the support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, has launched How Housing Matters, an interdisciplinary online portal focused on housing's role in individual and neighborhood wellbeing. The portal offers up-to-date, easily searchable research and news connecting housing with a broad range of topics. The new knowledge-sharing tool emphasizes the connection between housing and better educational opportunities and outcomes for children; stronger foundations for family and community economic stability; and healthier, more productive individuals and neighborhoods.   

The portal (www.howhousingmatters.org), which is being managed by the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing, is designed to serve as a user gateway, integrating policy papers, reports, and current news articles, as well as original stories that compellingly illustrate research and data, inform collaboration, and inspire action.

"How Housing Matters will greatly enhance ULI's efforts to emphasize housing as a cornerstone of communities that are healthy, prosperous and resilient," said ULI Global Chief Executive Officer Patrick L. Phillips. "We're excited about the potential of this website to strengthen our knowledge-sharing initiatives related to housing, help us increase the scale and scope of our housing activities, and reinforce the connection between housing and other sectors."

The MacArthur Foundation has invested over $25 million in research projects exploring how decent, stable, affordable housing may lead to strong families and vibrant communities; the research will produce findings through 2017. This body of work, as well as research funded by others, is showing that housing has value beyond the provision of shelter: it improves school performance, diminishes health problems for both children and adults, and decreases psychological stress – among other benefits.

"Housing is at the core of how we tackle some of the most important issues we face as a society – how we ensure our children thrive and learn, and our elderly age with the dignity and care they deserve," said MacArthur President Julia Stasch. "The How Housing Matters web portal will be a resource for advocates, experts, policymakers, and the press as they share knowledge and engage around innovative practices that lead to improved housing, health, education, and economic opportunities for all Americans."

In addition to ULI, other expert resources including the National Housing Conference, Urban Institute and Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies will provide content for the site. How Housing Matters is a resource for:

  • Housing industry participants looking for practical information on building and improving housing that serves as a platform for family and community success;
  • Professionals in education, economic development, and public health who are interested in collaborative approaches to address individual and community needs;
  • Policymakers seeking the most compelling data and analyses that "connect the dots" between housing and educational success, economic prosperity, and public health;
  • Advocates making the case for housing's essential role in supporting individual and community well-being; and
  • Researchers working to deepen the understanding of the interrelationship of housing with other pivotal factors in people's lives.

In 2014, the MacArthur Foundation selected the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing to create and curate the new online portal to serve as the central source for the growing body of research on how housing matters to other pivotal drivers of individual and community success. The portal is both a clearinghouse for continuing research and a platform for engaging practitioners, policymakers, and researchers across a range of fields committed to using evidence and interdisciplinary approaches to create higher quality housing and improved outcomes. The editorial advisory board for the website includes nationally renowned experts in education, health, aging, asset building, economics and housing.

Through How Housing Matters, ULI and the MacArthur Foundation are aiming to encourage practice and policy innovations that facilitate collaboration among private- and public-sector leaders in housing, education, health and economic development to better and more cost effectively help families lead healthy, successful lives.

View the new How Housing Matters online portal by visiting http://howhousingmatters.org.  To get updates and new stories in real time, follow @Housing360 on Twitter.

About the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing
The ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing was established in 2007 with a $5 million endowment to ULI from former ULI Chairman J. Ronald Terwilliger, chairman emeritus of Trammell Crow Residential and chairman of the ULI Terwilliger Center. The mission of the Center is to expand housing opportunity by leveraging the private sector and other partners to create and sustain mixed-income, mixed-use urban and suburban neighborhoods that incorporate a full spectrum of housing choices, including affordable and workforce housing.

About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute is a nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has more than 33,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.

About the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society. More information is at www.macfound.org.

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SOURCE Urban Land Institute