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Safe and Stable: Supporting Children and Families through Affordable Housing

Ensuring Stable Homes for Stronger Families

In celebration of Pierce County Affordable Housing Week, we spotlight the critical link between affordable housing and child welfare. Stable, affordable housing is more than just a roof over our heads—it's a foundation for family well-being and children's success. Housing is essential for nurturing the potential of our youngest residents, and it is imperative for us as a community to rally around solutions that support family stability.

In Pierce County, like many parts of the country, a silent crisis affects our children. Those who need stable housing face daunting challenges beyond their immediate physical needs. Housing instability can lead to poor academic performance, mental health issues, and an increased risk of involvement with the child welfare system. When families are provided with affordable housing options, children have the opportunity to thrive in a consistent and supportive environment, which is vital for their development and future prospects.

  • During the 2020-2021 K-12 school year, 4,100 students in Pierce County experienced homelessness—a clear indicator of the urgency for housing solutions (National Center for Education Statistics).

  • Families with children constitute 7% of the homeless population in the area, highlighting the familial aspect of this crisis (2023 Pierce County Point in Time Count).

  • Black students are disproportionately affected, representing 16.4% of homeless students while only making up 7.6% of the total student body (Ed Data Express).

  • The educational impact is significant, with 60.5% of homeless students showing chronic absenteeism (Ed Data Express).

  • Living arrangements for these students often include doubling up (75.2%), staying in shelters (10.5%), or residing in motels (8.1%) (Ed Data Express).

Addressing this complex issue requires a multifaceted approach. Investing in affordable housing tailored for families not only mitigates the immediate risks of homelessness but also fosters long-term stability that can break the cycle of poverty. Initiatives like building more affordable housing units, providing rental assistance, and supporting housing-first policies are crucial. Additionally, integrating social services with housing efforts ensures that families receive the holistic support they need to remain stable.

Efforts in Pierce County are supported by various organizations committed to addressing the need for housing stability among children, including Catholic Community Services, Multicultural Child And Family Hope Center, WA State’s Department of Children, Youth and Families, Communities in Schools, Tacoma Public School District, Tacoma Housing Authority, The REACH Center, and many more.

This Affordable Housing Week, let's recommit ourselves to the idea that every child deserves a stable home. Support local affordable housing initiatives and advocate for policies prioritizing families' housing needs. By ensuring that our most vulnerable populations have access to safe, stable, and affordable housing, we are investing in the future of our community.

Resources and Further Reading:

Join Us:

To learn more about how you can get involved, visit the Affordable Housing Consortium and Affordable Housing Week’s official pages and partner with local organizations making a difference. Together, we can ensure that affordable housing is a reality for all, not just a privilege for some.

Take a look at our informational flyer to learn more about how child welfare intersects with affordable housing in Pierce County.

Thanks to US Bank for being the title sponsor of Pierce County Affordable Housing Week 2024. Your support is invaluable to our community.


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