The MacArthur Foundation’s latest round of grant recipients will receive a combined $2.7 million for multidisciplinary research to explore the role of affordable housing in the long-term health and well-being of the communities it serves. The five winning projects were selected from a pool of 212 and join the foundation’s $25 million research initiative, How Housing Matters to Families and Communities. Through the initiative, the foundation has awarded 34 grants since December 2008, totaling more than $17 million. 

This year’s lineup:

LeadingAge Center for Applied Research will study the role of publicly assisted, service-enhanced housing for aging adults, building on the center’s current research to develop the first-ever dataset link to demographic, health status, and utilization data for elderly residents of publicly assisted housing. More on the project.

Maxwell School of Syracuse University will examine the direct health benefits of affordable housing and its relationship to health, medical, and living expenditures of aging Americans. It also will look at the recession’s short-run impact on older Americans and will provide insight for current affordable housing and aging-policy initiatives. More on the project.

New York University targets the Housing Choice Voucher program and its effect on educational opportunities for children under the age of 18 by examining whether program participants use the vouchers to move to neighborhoods with higher-performing public schools. More on the project.

The Ohio State University will lead a project on the financial-, well-being-, and independence-related outcomes of reverse mortgages. Research will look to inform the aging generation of baby boomers who, in increasingly larger numbers, risk financial insecurity and impending retirement. More on the project.

University of Michigan Institute for Social Research is looking make fluid the polarities of aging—“diseased and disabled,” or “normally” aging—with the addition of an intermediary category, “successful aging.” Continuing work begun as part of the MacArthur Research Network on an Aging Society, the research will examine ways to incorporate a successful aging intervention program for affordable housing communities.