Affordable and stable housing plays a critical role in supporting the health and wellbeing of children. Research from Children’s HealthWatch shows public investment in housing—including housing for homeless families and rental assistance for food-insecure families—improves the health outcomes of vulnerable infants and young children and lowers health care spending.
Previous research from Children’s HealthWatch demonstrated the harmful impact homelessness has on the health of young children and that the negative health outcomes are compounded when a mother is homeless both before and after her child is born. New findings from Children’s HealthWatch researchers show affordable and stable housing made possible through rental assistance is associated with better health outcomes for infants in vulnerable families.
Investments in programs that house families in need and have the potential to reduce public spending on health care can be a double win for public policy. Given the significant impact stable and affordable housing has on the health of children, policymakers should consider how to expand investment in affordable housing and services for vulnerable families to improve the health outcomes of young children and reduce health care spending.