Housing is health: A renewed call for federal housing investments in affordable housing for families with children
Decades of research demonstrate the importance of a safe, stable, affordable home as a foundation for health beginning in the prenatal period and extending over the life course. 1 Unfortunately, in the United States today, millions of children face housing circumstances that harm their health and, as a result, increase unnecessary health care utilization. 2 Families with extremely low incomes, particularly Black and Latinx families, are disproportionately impacted by adverse housing circumstances further exacerbating health disparities. These disparities are rooted in a long history of discriminatory policies and practices that shape the current housing landscape in the U.S. In this commentary, we examine four domains of housing – quality, stability, affordability, and neighborhoods – critical for positive child health outcomes as well as policies and practices that should be employed to ensure all children live in homes that promote healthy growth and development.