NAHRO’s annual “What Home Means to Me” poster contest invites children who live in affordable communities around the country to share their thoughts about home and the role of affordable housing agencies.
It’s an important part of the NAHRO Housing America campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the need for safe, high quality, affordable housing through education, advocacy, and empowerment.
Kids, of course, do not have all the answers. They don't have the wisdom that only comes with age. But there are other reasons to listen to the smallest voices in the room, too.
Year over year, the entries in the poster contest point to a few things: Kids see things differently than adults. They break down problems and solutions into simple parts. They often highlight things that adults take for granted. Their words and images are often bright and full of optimism.
MWHS encourages kids at our properties to participate in this tradition and to get a chance at national recognition and prizes, as well as inclusion in NAHRO's annual calendar featuring poster entries.
This year, MWHS received a dozen entries from children who live at our properties. An MWHS panel of judges selected the entries shown below to represent the agency in the statewide competition -- showing great effort, detail and thoughtfulness in their approach to the project.
The bigger picture
Research has found that children who grow up in affordable and decent homes have brighter futures ahead of them. When families spend more than 30% of their income on rent, there may not be enough left for necessities like healthy food, healthcare or school supplies. Growing up in an overcrowded home, a home in poor condition, or a household that is cost burdened has been linked to academic, developmental and behavioral problems in children.
It is estimated that one in three children in Colorado live in households that are cost-burdened, which put their other needs at risk.
These stories and artwork are more than children’s drawings. They are inspirations to those who work in affordable housing. They are reminders for why high-quality affordable housing and services are imperative.