The Heller School For Social Policty And Management The Heller School For Social Policy and Management Brandeis University

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Child Opportunity Index measuring neighborhood opportunities for children

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Spotlight and News

Larger, Low-Income Families Face Steep Challenges in Renting Suitable Housing in Higher-Opportunity Neighborhoods

Research Brief, Visualization, Indicators | April 18, 2018

Families weigh many factors when considering where to live, including a housing unit’s physical attributes, price, neighborhood characteristics, and its suitability to the family’s needs.  Lower-income families with children face particular constraints—often needing larger, more affordable housing units in neighborhoods with opportunities especially relevant to child well-being, such as proximity to early childhood education centers and high-quality schools.

Utilizing the Institute Child Opportunity Index, we find that larger rentals, and especially larger, lower-cost units, are disproportionately concentrated in lower-opportunity neighborhoods, although the extent of this concentration varies considerably across metro areas.  Hispanic families, who have significantly larger households than do other major racial/ethnic groups and relatively low incomes, are likely to be especially impacted by this mismatch between rent level, unit size, and opportunity. Read the new Research Brief and explore the distribution of rental units by rent level and unit size across neighborhood opportunity for any of 100 large metros with this user-friendly interactive charting tool.