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The Waffle House shooter had an earlier weapons arrest near the White House. Also on our Monday rundown: new eviction data underscores America’s affordable-housing crisis; plus we will take you to a state where one county is putting juvenile justice under public health.

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Report: Recession’s Impacts Linger in the Living Room

PHOTO: Five years since the end of the Great Recession, and a new report finds that the housing crisis hasn't abated for many low-income families. Photo credit: CherylHolt/Pixabay.com
PHOTO: Five years since the end of the Great Recession, and a new report finds that the housing crisis hasn't abated for many low-income families. Photo credit: CherylHolt/Pixabay.com
February 4, 2015

WASHINGTON - Health is a bright spot for children in a new report that looks at how kids are faring five years after the Great Recession was declared "over."

The First Focus analysis found that more children have health coverage, but the housing crisis hasn't abated for many low-income families.

Cari Baldari, the group's senior policy director for poverty and family economics, housing and homelessness, said it's estimated that 1.3 million schoolchildren are experiencing homelessness - and four in 10 live in housing situations where parents struggle to pay rent.

"Still nowhere in America where a parent is working minimum wage at 40 hours a week can afford rent," she said.

Homeless children face learning disabilities at double the rate of other kids, Baldari said, and the rates of emotional, behavioral and other health problems are triple.

The report recommends more construction of affordable housing and additional federal rental assistance vouchers. Baldari said the supply is limited and only about one-fourth of people eligible for vouchers receive them.

Congress is looking at the Homeless Children and Youth Act (HR 576/S 256). Baldari describes it as a bipartisan plan that would change definitions of homelessness so they're not only tied to living on the street or in a recognized homeless shelter.

"It would allow homeless children and families who are living in situations such as motels or with others to access homelessness-assistance services that currently they're not eligible for," she said.

The report also looked at hunger, abuse and neglect, and the results were mixed. It said there has been some improvement in food-insecurity rates, but they remain high. There are conflicting statistics on abuse and neglect - with federal data showing a decline and hospital data showing increases.

The report, "The Effect of the Great Recession on Child Well-Being," is online at firstfocus.org.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MD