On September 23, Children’s HealthWatch, in partnership with the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign, released two new policy briefs that highlight research on the health, educational, and financial consequences of eviction and unstable housing among families with children and call on Congress to pass evidence-based policies that promote access to stable, affordable homes. Authored by pediatricians and child health researchers, the briefs present research on the critical role of stable housing during early childhood and point to deep systemic inequities that have placed families of color at disproportionate risk for eviction and homelessness.

“As a pediatrician, one of the best things I can do for my patients is to help them prevent eviction and access stable, affordable housing,” said Dr. Megan Sandel, Co-Lead Principal Investigator for Children’s HealthWatch. “These are evidence-informed policies that make that reality for millions of American children and their families.”

Rooted in robust research on the topic, the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign and Children’s HealthWatch support solutions that would reduce housing instability and homelessness. Specifically, the bipartisan Eviction Crisis Act builds on evidence-based eviction prevention strategies to provide robust rental relief, legal assistance, and housing stability-related resources for families with the lowest incomes who face eviction. The Ending Homelessness Act and bipartisan Family Stability and Opportunity Act invest in vouchers – notably those that enable families to move to high opportunity neighborhoods of their choosing – for millions of eligible renters currently unserved by federal housing programs. Furthermore, these bills reduce racial/ethnic health inequities by advancing policies that undo the harmful impact of residential housing segregation and discrimination.

“These policy briefs spearheaded by Children’s HealthWatch demonstrate the crucial importance of stable and affordable housing during the earliest years of life,” said Diane Yentel, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.  “As these briefs lay out, we know which solutions are needed to tackle the problem.  These solutions are deeply rooted in research and are well within our nation’s reach to implement at scale.”

These briefs provide critical evidence supporting actionable opportunities to prevent eviction and close the housing opportunity gap. Paired with deep investments in affordable and fair housing infrastructure, legislation is urgently needed to respond to longstanding racial inequities and advance an equitable recovery in light of the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A quality affordable home located in a strong neighborhood is clearly linked to prevention of long-term health problems and promotes healthy, productive lives,” said Mike Koprowski, National Director of the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign.  “These excellent briefs show exactly why healthcare advocates must weigh in on matters of housing policy.  After all, good housing is good health.”

Access the policy briefs here.


About Children’s HealthWatch

Children’s HealthWatch is a nonpartisan network of pediatricians, public health researchers, and children’s health and policy experts based at Boston Medical Center. Its network is committed to improving children’s health in America by first collecting real-time data in urban hospitals across the country on infants and toddlers from families facing economic hardship and then analyzing and sharing findings with researchers, legislators, and the public.  Its findings help policymakers and the public better understand the social and economic factors that impact children’s health so they can make well-informed policy decisions that can give all children equal opportunities for healthy, successful lives. For more information, visit: www.childrenshealthwatch.org

About the National Low Income Housing Coalition

The National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that ensures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes.  Its goals are to preserve existing federally assisted homes and housing resources, expand the supply of low income housing, and establish housing stability as the primary purpose of federal low income housing policy.  The National Low Income Housing Coalition chairs the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign.  For more information, visit: www.nlihc.org.

About the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign

The Opportunity Starts at Home campaign is a long-term, multi-sector campaign to meet the rental housing needs of the nation’s lowest income people.  The campaign, which was founded by the National Low Income Housing Coalition alongside the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, National Alliance to End Homelessness, and Children’s HealthWatch, is powered by nearly 100 leading organizations from an array of sectors, including education, health, racial and gender equity, climate, food security, criminal justice, social work, municipal governance, faith, child welfare, and more.  For more information, visit: www.opportunityhome.org.


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