How Housing Affects Child Development
Stable housing is foundational to children’s growth and well-being.
Growing up in a decent, affordable home can have a powerful effect on children. Studies draw a straight line between the quality, location and affordability of housing and a child’s ability to thrive.
On the other hand, low-quality housing — often accompanied by pests, poor ventilation, lack of heat and other detrimental factors — has been strongly linked to physical health problems for children.
In addition, the stress that parents experience due to living in poor conditions can translate into emotional and behavioral problems in their children. Children whose families who are forced to move frequently in search of better, more affordable living situations often struggle. And parents paying too much for a place to live too often must deplete financial resources that otherwise could be invested in their children’s health, education and futures.
“By building and restoring safe, clean and healthy housing, Habitat works to eliminate children’s experiences of substandard housing, thereby supporting their growth and development.”
— Boston College’s Rebekah Levine Coley and Tufts University’s Tama Leventhal
Surveys of families with safe, stable and affordable housing show fewer health problems, improved school performance, less psychological stress and more self-assured parents.
Wherever Habitat for Humanity works, strong and secure homes contribute to strong and secure families.