Housing and Health


Housing is about stable, safe places to live, and living in diverse, vibrant communities that lead to full, productive lives. Humane housing is a vital community condition. People are better-able to thrive with access to secure, consistent places to live, homes and neighborhoods that are safe from hazards, and neighborhoods that provide access to food and other basic needs and resources. Housing is the biggest expense for most Americans, so housing affordability is a significant factor in financial well-being. Housing stability, quality, safety, and affordability all affect health outcomes, as do physical and social characteristics of neighborhoods.

Evidence Base

Housing conditions
Housing affordability
Neighborhood assets
Community connection and cohesion
Housing that is safe, dry, clean, maintained, adequately ventilated, and pest- and contaminant-free housing protects against household exposures to human health hazards.
Affordable housing promotes financial security and frees up resources for other basic needs (e.g., utilities, food, and medical care).
Neighborhoods with safe, affordable transportation systems, good parks and recreation facilities, and access to assets like quality schools and health care provide what communities need to be healthy and well.
Neighborhoods with less concentrated poverty, and low segregation, violence, and crime foster more social connection and trust, and a stronger sense of belonging and civic muscle.
Reduced incidence of injury, illness and death resulting from exposures to hazards in home
Reduced the incidence of malnutrition, diabetes, anxiety, and depression
Reduced incidence of chronic disease, injury, respiratory disease, mortality, and poor mental health
Improved physical and mental health

Improved school performance and civic engagement

Featured Resources

Connecting Public Housing and Health

This resource summarizes findings of a health impact assessment that was conducted to inform an update by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development o...

HIAs in Housing

HIAs have the opportunity to inform housing policy, improvements, planning and decision-making, and investment that increases community well-being.

 HIAs related to housing often focus on health and housing conditions, affordable housing, and housing policy. However, HIAs can be used to inform a range of health-related issues in the housing sector, including indoor environmental quality, access to transportation, jobs, parks, and open space, availability of nutritious foods, and neighborhood racial and socio-economic segregation.

* Adapted from The Pew Charitable Trust, The Relationship Between Housing and Health



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