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But if the home isn’t a stable, safe or healthy environment, the negative effects on children go with them to child care centers, school and into adulthood. Nearly one-third of children live in households that spend 30 percent of more of household income on housing, leaving little room to meet other basic needs. Research shows that children in low-income families that have limited access to affordable housing are more likely to live in crowded housing or become homeless, and are more likely to be food insecure and to postpone seeking health care. Children who live in more affordable areas have better health and academic outcomes and fewer behavioral problems in adolescence. Affordable housing provides more room in the family budget and provides stability and an environment for a child to better learn and grow. Unfortunately, programs that make housing affordable are underfunded and in turn often unavailable to the majority of lower income families.
Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota supports programs and policies to ensure every family has access to affordable housing opportunities.