Today, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) unveiled How Housing Matters, an online portal that focuses on the relationship between affordable housing and the well-being of individuals and neighborhoods. The website, funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, offers a free searchable database of research and news related to connections between quality housing and health.

Managed by the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing, the tool incorporates policy papers, reports, current news articles, interviews, and original stories from the past 12 months that integrate research and data. ULI also posts daily news roundups, aggregating stories about affordable housing from around the country. The website emphasizes information partial to the connection between higher-quality housing and better educational opportunities for children; stronger foundations for family and community economic stability; and healthier, more productive individuals and neighborhoods.

ULI expects How Housing Matters to be useful particularly for those in the housing industry, researchers, policymakers, advocates for housing needs to support communities, and professionals in education, healthcare, and economics. Architects can access reports, such as "Intersections: Health and the Built Environment," to explore the ways in which healthy design elements can add value not only to specific projects, but to whole communities.

"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 CEO Patrick L. Phillips in a press release. "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."

Through How Housing Matters, ULI hopes to facilitate discussions and encourage policy action that fosters collaboration with professionals across a range of fields that will lead to increased access to quality, affordable housing.

Check out ARCHITECT's interview with Julia Stasch, the intern director of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.