Children’s HealthWatch’s recent work on housing in Minnesota was featured in a blog post by Minnesota 2020.
Survey Says: Housing is Healthcare
Children’s HealthWatch surveyed 6,000 low-income parents of young children seeking treatment at Hennepin County Medical Center. 67 percent of these families reported “housing insecurity,” defined as moving two or more times in the past year, living in overcrowded conditions for financial reasons, or being behind on rent any time in the past year. Only one-third of families were considered stably housed by these relatively low standards.
The study also found that low-income families with insecure housing also experience other financial difficulties. They were 3-4 times more likely to experience food shortages and have a hard time heating and cooling their home. They were five times more likely to forgo needed healthcare.
The children in this study were all under the age of four, which makes this finding especially concerning: “Compared to children in securely housed families, we found children in housing insecure families were 1.27 to 2.23 times more likely to be in fair or poor health. Housing insecure families were 1.36 to 1.68 times more likely to have young children at risk of developmental delays than securely housed families.”