Having a secure, safe and affordable home is an essential element in the experience of a ‘good enough’ childhood. This is not available to a large and growing number of children and parents in the UK because of a structural housing crisis affecting the availability, quality, affordability and regulation of accommodation. There is a clear body of evidence which demonstrates the negative effects of poor housing and homelessness on children’s health and development. A much smaller body of work implicates housing policies and conditions in child abuse and neglect but there is a profound lack of good quality data or research about the role which housing and homelessness play in shaping demand for social care in the UK. This article reviews the available evidence, identifying limitations and gaps. Its aim is to open up policy and practice conversations about the increasing significance of housing and homelessness as a critical issue for children’s social care in the UK, while making the case for an urgent research agenda.