The Office of Children’s Mental Health (OCMH) announces the publication of a new fact sheet on Housing Stability. Where people live directly impacts their well-being. Youth who live in stable housing have better mental health, physical health, school attendance, academic performance, participation in extracurricular activities, and improved earnings later in life.

“As winter sets in, we are reminded of the critical importance that safe and stable housing has on Wisconsin families. Unfortunately, there’s a shortage of affordable housing in Wisconsin, and evictions have risen to pre-pandemic levels,” said OCMH Director Linda Hall.

Stable housing impacts a range of socio-economic outcomes. Poor housing quality increases the chances of emergency department visits for both physical and mental health concerns. The effects of housing instability often last for years, impacting children long-term.

Proven policy solutions like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) reduce housing cost burdens and allow many families to stabilize family finances. Housing assistance can also directly improve the life of a child.

There are a number of recommendations in the fact sheet for what families, schools, and policymakers can do to support housing stability in the state, including:

  • Families. Recognize that moving is stressful for both parents and children. Talk about your feelings openly. Seek support for any struggling family member.
  • Schools. Identify key community resources, including the district’s homeless liaison, to help direct families to when they are struggling with housing instability. 
  • Policymakers. Support housing vouchers for low-income families to find stable housing.

“If your family is planning a move, be sure to dedicate extra time and attention to your children. Kids who move often face challenges of navigating a new school, neighborhood, peers, and routines. Make time to talk with your children about any anxiety they have about the move and share your feelings about the move. These conversations will help kids process their feelings while strengthening their bond with you.”

See the complete fact sheet
See previous fact sheets.

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