Our healthcare and housing systems are in crisis


The U.S. spends about $3.2 trillion on healthcare—almost 18% of gross domestic product, yet it has worse health outcomes than most other developed countries. There is now widespread agreement that many of the factors that affect the health of the population are outside doctors' offices and in the places where people live, learn, work, and play. About 80 percent of a person’s health can be explained by factors such as income, education, neighborhood conditions, and the health behaviors shaped by these circumstances.

Not having a place to call home and living in blighted neighborhoods that lack jobs, healthy food, public transportation, and good schools, leaves millions of children in the U.S. with a lousy start in life. These formative years have lifelong consequences for their health and development, their education, their earnings, and ability to be self-sufficient.