The Housing and Children’s Healthy Development Study (HCHD) is an exciting study with innovative design features and methodologies. It seeks to explore issues related to the constraints faced by low income parents, particularly when they seek housing, and determine their effects on children’s development. In many cases, low-income parents will face tradeoffs between dwelling unit quality, neighborhood quality, and school quality. This project has four main aims: 1) to clarify how aspects of dwelling unit quality, neighborhood quality, and local school quality combine to influence the cost of housing accessible to families of below median income; 2) to assess how qualities of dwelling units, neighborhoods, and schools combine to contribute to children’s cognitive, socioemotional, and health outcomes; 3) to learn how parents make choices about where to live; and 4) to enhance the study of child development through theoretical and methodological advances in the study of housing and the other social contexts related to it. The study’s Principal Investigator is Dr. Sandra Newman at Johns Hopkins University and the Co-Principal Investigator is Dr. Tama Leventhal at Tufts University.
Survey Research Operations will conduct two waves of data collection with families in Dallas and Cleveland. In-person interviews will be completed with approximately 1,686 parents/guardians, and approximately 2,328 children, aged 3 to 10. Half of the households will come from local housing authority lists and half will be generated by random screening in selected neighborhoods located in census blocks with household incomes at or below the area median income. Adult interviews will take approximately 75 minutes and child sessions will take approximately 45 minutes. Among the innovative measures that will be administered as part of this study, we will measure room sizes using a laser tape measure, observe and code parent-child interactions, and collect dried blood spots from children. Main data collection began in late May 2017.