Children with Special Health Care Needs and Disabilities: Solutions for Stable Homes

Summary of Findings

All children need stable homes to thrive. High costs associated with raising a young child with special health care needs (SHCN) may strain a family’s budget and impact their ability to afford housing expenses. Children’s HealthWatch research demonstrates that compared to children without SHCN, children with SHCN are more likely to live in families who:
• were behind on rent in the past year
• moved two or more times in the past year
• were homeless during the child’s lifetime

In this study, we found that for those children qualifying medically and financially for SSI, SSI may help to mitigate housing instability and may protect their families from disruptions that accompany frequent moves or homelessness, the most physically disruptive types of housing instability.

Recommended Policy Solutions

  1. Increase Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding for affordable homes
  2.  Reduce barriers to non-housing assistance programs that improve housing stability
  3.  Screen for and respond to housing instability in clinical settings that serve all children, but especially those with SHCN
  4.  Maintain SSI structure
  5.  Increase income limit for SSI and index to inflation
  6. Modify asset limits for SSI and index to inflation