Join 5/22 Webinar Exploring Connections between Early Childhood Development, Health, Education, and Affordable Housing

The campaign and partners ZERO TO THREE, Children’s HealthWatch, and SchoolHouse Connection invite advocates nationwide to register for a webinar exploring the connections between early childhood development, health, education, and affordable housing. The webinar, “A National Call for Safe, Affordable Housing for Our Children,” will be held on May 22 from 3 to 4 pm ET and will bring together leaders from the early childhood development, health, and education sectors for a discussion about recent research and the need to ensure that families have access to safe and affordable homes.

Panelists on the webinar will include:

  • Mollyrose Schaffner (ZERO TO THREE)
  • Erin Patterson (SchoolHouse Connection)
  • Dr. Megan Sandel (Children’s HealthWatch)
  • Karen Pascale (Connecticut Head Start Collaboration Office)
  • Dr. Shanté Hanks (Connecticut Department of Housing)
  • Chantelle Wilkinson (Opportunity Starts at Home)

Speakers will share key findings on how affordable housing lifts children out of poverty and the impact of affordable housing on child well-being and family stability, educational outcomes, and health. The webinar will highlight how advocates are collaborating across sectors to illuminate the critical importance of safe, affordable housing for healthy child development.

ZERO TO THREE and SchoolHouse Connection are on the campaign’s Roundtable, and Children’s HealthWatch is on the campaign’s Steering Committee.

Learn more about the connections between education, health, child-anti poverty, and housing by reading the OSAH fact sheets here.

Register for the Webinar

Applications Now Open to State Organizations for National Endorsement

The campaign has released a new “Endorsement Application.” The Endorsement Application offers state-level organizations that are pursuing multi-sector housing policy efforts the opportunity to earn a formal endorsement from the national campaign and the chance to have their multi-sector work codified under the OSAH umbrella. The campaign recognizes that many multi-sector efforts are being undertaken around the country and hopes to identify this work, raise its visibility, and support its ongoing success. By expanding the number of state partners affiliated with its campaign, OSAH aims to strengthen advocacy efforts in general.

Those organizations that receive endorsements will be considered formal state partners of the national campaign and be featured on OSAH’s website. They will also participate in cohort learning experiences with organizations from other states and gain access to resources, networks, and technical assistance from the national campaign. Please note: OSAH endorsements do not come with financial assistance at this time.

The campaign currently provides support to 30 state partners, 14 of which receive financial assistance from the national campaign. The campaign recognizes that it is critical that federal policymakers hear not only from national advocates but also from their own constituents in the states they represent. While endorsements do not come with financial assistance, OSAH fully intends to secure more funding so it can expand its financial assistance to additional state partners.

The campaign is currently seeking applications from the following states: Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, Wyoming, and Washington D.C.

Interested state organizations are encouraged to review the full criteria for endorsement before filling out an application. 

Read more about OSAH’s current state partners here.

Apply for Endorsement

Campaign Releases Updated Fact Sheets on Connections Between Health, Environment, Education, and Housing 

The campaign has released three updated fact sheets describing the connections between health, the environmenteducation, and affordable housing. The updated fact sheets were developed with the help of campaign partners in the health, environment, and education sectors, including Children’s HealthWatch, Natural Resources Defense Council, SchoolHouse Connection, and National Education Association.

In total, the campaign has 16 multi-sector fact sheets to its website.  Each fact sheet compiles landmark research to help policymakers, opinion leaders, and the public understand the deep connections between housing and other national priorities, from healthcare to education to environmental justice. Advocates are encouraged to download the fact sheets to support efforts to reach out to allies and make the case for cross-sector collaboration.
Read the Fact Sheets

Campaign Joins Panel on Housing and Food Security at Feeding America Annual Conference 

The campaign participated in a panel discussion, “Integrating Strategies for Housing and Food Security: A Multidimensional Approach to Eviction Prevention and Nutritional Access,” at a conference hosted by Feeding America. The panel focused on the connections between stable and affordable housing, nutritional security, and health. Panelists included Dr. Carl Gershenson, Lab Director at Eviction Lab; Ryan Luckie, Director at Freestore Foodbank; Chantelle Wilkinson, Director of the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign, and Adam Meyer, Senior Director at Food Finders Food Bank. The panel was moderated by Kurt Reiber, President and CEO of Freestore Food Bank.

Panelists highlighted the importance of food banks in preventing evictions and as essential components of safety net programs. Dr. Gershenson presented his findings regarding the impact of eviction on food security and the racial disparities in eviction rates. Chantelle shared the ways housing and food security advocates are collaborating through the OSAH campaign to advance housing solutions.

When it comes to the relationship between food security and affordable housing, it is often said that the “rent eats first.” Indeed, NLIHC’s Gap report shows that 87% of extremely low-income renters spend such high portions of their income on rent that they are forced to spend significantly less on food.

Access to safe, affordable housing means families have more income available to spend on food they need. The combination of housing subsidies with nutrition benefits like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) further ensure that families with low incomes have the resources they need to be housing and food secure. A stable, affordable home also allows families to safely store nutritious foods, and housing insecurity can compromise safe food storage and use of SNAP benefits.

Food security and housing advocates can work together to advance federal policy solutions, including expansion of the Housing Choice Voucher Program, to ensure that the lowest-income renters can adequately afford essential nutrition and housing.