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Message from the Assistant Secretary

This 12th edition of Evidence Matters, focusing on housing and children, comes at an opportune time. Secretary Julián Castro recently released “Our Vision,” a document outlining HUD policy goals that together will expand opportunity for all Americans. As HUD approaches its 50th anniversary, the agency is continuing its deep commitment to delivering programs that provide a platform for children and families to succeed. Reaffirming that quality housing and neighborhoods are the foundation that helps children and youth achieve their life goals — and ensuring that children have access to them — are important for maintaining not only the strength of our communities but also our competitiveness in the global economy.

This issue of Evidence Matters examines the evidence base around how housing matters for families and children. A better understanding of the research and lessons learned from previous studies will enhance ongoing policy efforts to improve children’s physical health, behavioral and emotional welfare, school achievement, and economic opportunities. Research investigates how the various dimensions of housing, such as quality, crowding, affordability, housing assistance, ownership, and stability, are linked to children’s development and well-being. Of course, housing’s effect on the development and well-being of children extends beyond the home itself to the surrounding neighborhood. Various neighborhood characteristics may play a vital role in either expanding or limiting opportunity for children and families. Neighborhood effects research examines the causal links between neighborhood contexts and the social and economic outcomes of individual families. A key challenge of this work is untangling the influence of family and individual characteristics from that of the neighborhood, in addition to distinguishing among various correlated neighborhood attributes. The strongest evidence exists on the effects of neighborhood contexts on children.

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Highlights

Housing’s and Neighborhoods’ Role in Shaping Children’s Future

How Housing Mobility Affects Education Outcomes for Low-Income Children

Protecting Children From Unhealthy Homes and Housing Instability

Additional Resources

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EDITOR
Rachelle Levitt

MANAGING EDITOR
Keith Fudge

AUTHORS
Jamie Kralovec (HUD)
Sage Computing staff

Guest Managing Editor
Jamie Kralovec

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