Housing and Neighborhoods as Root Causes of Child Poverty

Understanding how housing inequities among families with children are rooted in structural racism is important for identifying opportunities to engage in ongoing and collective work as pediatricians to lift children out of poverty. This article discusses the complex mechanisms between housing and child and family health outcomes, and offers potential solutions linking housing, health programs, and policy solutions. Beginning with a review of historical antecedents of housing policy and their impact on health inequities, the authors outlines policies and structures directly linked to disproportionate housing instability and inequities in health outcomes among children. This article examines four key domains of housing – affordability, stability, quality, and neighborhood – and their relationship to child and family health. Finally, the authors present multidimensional solutions for advancing health equity.