Housing instability will cost healthcare industry $111B over next decade

Children and mothers with unstable housing will incur an estimated $111 billion in health-related costs over the next decade, according to a study from Boston Medical Center's Children's HealthWatch, a nonpartisan research group focused on improving children's health.

The research uses an economic model to project healthcare costs related to unstable housing, which was defined as experiencing homelessness, moving two or more times or being behind on rent payments in the past year. If levels of unstable housing do not improve over the next 10 years, the researchers estimate mothers living in those conditions will cost the U.S. healthcare system $76.8 billion for physical and mental health services and children will cost $34.3 billion for additional care during that time period.

"Ensuring stable homes for all will not only make families healthier, but save our nation money in both the near and long term," Ana Poblacion, PhD, the report's author, said in a press release.

Based on their findings, Children's HealthWatch recommends the adoption of federal policy to grow the supply of affordable housing and additional efforts by health systems to provide stable homes for patients.

 

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