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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Affordable Housing

End Homelessness

Housing problems can lead to:

  • Health problems — for example, when children get asthma or lead poisoning from poor housing quality or experience stunted growth due to excessive housing costs that leave too little income remaining for nutritious food. Or when individuals with AIDS cannot maintain a consistent treatment regime because they are homeless or a lack of coordination between housing and health programs forces older adults to enter nursing homes prematurely. 
  • Education problems — for example, when high housing costs force families to move from one unstable living environment to another, undermining academic stability and achievement, or when low- and moderate-income families are priced out of neighborhoods with top-quality schools.
  • Transportation, infrastructure and environmental problems. Consider the individual who moves far from his or her workplace because housing is too expensive nearby. Not only will the individual incur higher transportation costs that undermine overall affordability, but now he or she is driving longer distances, which increases traffic congestion and emissions of greenhouse gases. And it may mean we need to build more roads and other infrastructure to service a sprawling population, at great cost to the public.

Ingrid Cheng  
Author of Dream: Creating a Better World

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