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Children in GA Struggle with Affordable Housing, Health Care Access

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Shanteya Hudson, Producer

Wednesday, June 14, 2023   

In new findings released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, it seems more families with children in Georgia require more affordable housing than ever before.

The 2023 Kids Count Data Book said one in five Georgia children lives in poverty, a rate of 20%, compared to the national average of 17%.

Rebekah Hudgins, director of the evaluations and results accountability team for the Georgia Family Connection Partnership, pointed out many families struggle with rising housing costs

“The number of children who live in households spending more than 30% of their income on housing increased by about 30,000 children from 2019 to 2021,” Hudgins reported. “Which really is indicating for us a need for greater access to affordable housing.”

The average housing cost in Georgia is between $1,000 and $2,000 dollars per month. The Kids Count Data Book ranks Georgia 35th among the states for the economic well-being of its children. 

Another major issue examined in the report is health. It’s the area where Georgia receives its worst ranking, of 43rd among states.

Leslie Boissiere, vice president of external affairs for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, said while more kids have access to health care — in large part due to policies put in place across the states — deaths among children and teens are climbing nationwide.

“It’s very concerning that we’ve seen an increase in the number of deaths of children and young people,” Boissiere observed. “The primary cause, unfortunately, is suicide and gunshot wounds.”

She added it emphasizes the need for increased focus on kids’ mental health. The number of children and teens killed by gunfire in the United States increased 50% between 2019 and 2021, according to the Pew Research Center.

Disclosure: The Annie E. Casey Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Children’s Issues, Education, Juvenile Justice, and Welfare Reform. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

This story first appeared in Public News Service, a member-supported news site to engage, educate and advocate for the public interest.

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