A recent California State University, San Bernardino research report shows the relationship between homeownership and sociological outcomes such as health, educational attainment, inequality, crime and poverty in California.
The report, “California Homeownership and Sociological Factors,” took data on homeownership from each county and analyzed its relationship to each of these outcomes. The report found that, on average, and after accounting for other factors such as unemployment and demographics (minority population size, age distribution, and family structure), counties with higher homeownership rates have significantly higher high school graduation rates, lower crime rates (both violent and property crime), and reduced poverty rates.
It also found that the positive relationships between high school graduation rates and homeownership are stronger for minority groups (Hispanics/Latinos and African Americans), lending weight to the claim that increased homeownership among minority groups can help narrow socioeconomic disparities and improve economic opportunities.
“The results from our study provide a story that suggests that housing can no longer be a discussion solely focused on economics, rather it is a social justice issue creating a platform for unlikely partners (educators, labor unions and law enforcement) to join forces with the building community to find solutions,” said Daniel MacDonald and Yasemin Dildar, assistant professors of economics at Cal State San Bernardino.
“Since increased homeownership can lead to higher educational attainment and lower poverty, it can be seen as a major vehicle for improving economic opportunity for families of disadvantaged backgrounds,” the study’s authors said. “And since increased homeownership can lead to lower crime, it will shift economic resources toward more productive uses.”
One homeowner seemed to agree with the report’s findings.
“I see the difference in the classroom when children come from stable family environments, this includes housing, they tend to do better and they are prepared for their desired college/career pathway,” said Jose Alcala, a high school teacher. “We owe it to our kids to create housing and homeownership more accessible for working families.”
“The building industry has always believed that housing and homeownership are the foundation for strong communities. If there is homeownership, there is stability,” said Carlos Rodriguez, executive director of the Building Industry Association of Southern California, Baldy View Chapter. “What this report further tells us is that political and community leadership need to add accessibility to homeownership into the equation when discussing community blight and poor education numbers.”
About the BIA: The Building Industry Association of Southern California, Baldy View Chapter (BIA) promotes, advocates for and grows the homebuilding industry through member representation and community education at the local level. In addition, the Baldy View Chapter shall maintain a presence and influence on industry-related issues at regional, state, and national levels. The study was commissioned by the BIA Baldy View Chapter.
About California State University, San Bernardino: California State University, San Bernardino is a preeminent center of intellectual and cultural activity in Inland Southern California. Opened in 1965 and set at the foothills of the beautiful San Bernardino Mountains, the university serves more than 20,000 students each year and graduates about 4,000 students annually. CSUSB reflects the dynamic diversity of the region and has the most diverse student population of any university in the Inland Empire, and it has the second highest African American and Hispanic enrollments of all public universities in California. Eighty percent of those who graduate are the first in their families to do so.
For more information about Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Strategic Communication at (909) 537-5007 and visit news.csusb.edu.