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Housing policy through a child-centered lens
New research from Children’s HealthWatch illustrates there is no safe level of homelessness. The timing (pre-natal, post-natal) and duration of homelessness (more or less than six months) compounds the risk of harmful child health outcomes. The younger and longer a child experiences homelessness, the greater the cumulative toll of negative health outcomes, which can have lifelong effects on the child, the family, and the community.
The paper explains how the Medicaid program works and key changes made by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and prior health care reform efforts have altered the health care sector to focus more on prevention, care coordination, and the social needs of Medicaid beneficiaries. Some of the changes to the Medicaid program by the ACA and other reforms have created openings and incentives for health care organizations to collaborate with affordable housing providers to address the impact that housing has on the health of a low-income individuals. The report identifies these opportunities and describes promising programs and developments in different parts of the country. This report offers an overview of areas where the health and housing sectors overlap in the wake of Medicaid reform for affordable housing providers, healthy housing organizations, and advocates to discover ways in which they can pursue collaborations with health organizations.
This analysis provides a broad overview of state housing policy with a particular focus on policies that help remediate child poverty, promote family and residential stability for children, and help families access communities of opportunity that offer good schools and other amenities that make them especially good places to raise children.
The report finds that low-income families move much more frequently than the general population. While reasons for moving vary, the data and interviews of low-income families show that moves resulting from unplanned or involuntary circumstances, such as an eviction or foreclosure, and moves that occur one after another as part of a pattern of frequent mobility tend to have negative impacts on child and family welfare, such as increased school absenteeism and a higher incidence of neighborhood problems.