Safe, affordable homes aren’t stocked at your local pharmacy, but a new review of the research shows the vital role of an affordable home in our health. The Impacts of Affordable Housing on Health: A Research Summary, released today by NHC’s Center for Housing Policy, shows that affordable housing is an important social determinant of health and can be key to improving health and wellbeing of children, adults and older adults.
The research supports 10 ways in which affordable housing supports positive mental and physical health:
- Affordable Housing Can Improve Health Outcomes by Freeing Up Family Resources for Nutritious Food and Health Care Expenditures
- By Providing Families with Greater Residential Stability, Affordable Housing Can Reduce Stress and Related Adverse Health Outcomes
- Affordable Homeownership May Positively Impact Mental Health; However, Unsustainable Forms of Homeownership May Negatively Impact Health
- Well-Constructed and Well-Maintained Affordable Housing Can Reduce Health Problems Associated with Poor-Quality Housing
- Stable, Affordable Housing May Improve Health Outcomes for Individuals With Chronic Illnesses by Providing an Efficient Platform for Health Care Delivery
- Access to Neighborhoods of Opportunity Can Reduce Stress, Increase Access to Amenities, and Lead to Important Health Benefits
- By Alleviating Crowding, Affordable Housing Can Reduce Exposure to Stressors and Infectious Disease
- Access to Affordable Housing Allows Survivors of Domestic Violence to Escape Abusive Homes, Which Can Improve Mental Health and Physical Safety
- Green Building Strategies and Location-Efficient Housing Reduce Environmental Pollutants, Lower Monthly Energy Costs, and Improve Home Comfort and Indoor Environmental Quality
- Affordable and Accessible Housing Linked to Supportive Services Enables Older Adults and Others with Mobility Limitations to Remain in Their Homes
“Housing has a significant influence on the health outcomes among lower-income and special-needs populations. It is important for housing advocates and policymakers to use this information to help make the case for additional investments in affordable housing,” Dr. Lisa Sturtevant, director of the Center for Housing Policy acknowledged. “Members of the housing and health communities must join together to utilize affordable housing as part of an overall strategy for improving and supporting the health of low-income individuals.”
This report is an update to our 2011 research brief, which examined how affordable housing affected the health of residents, particularly children. New research continues to show that there is a firm link between affordable housing and the mental and physical health of children, adults and seniors.
Read the full report here.
About the National Housing Conference
The National Housing Conference represents a diverse membership of housing stakeholders including tenant advocates, mortgage bankers, nonprofit and for-profit home builders, property managers, policy practitioners, Realtors®, equity investors, and more, all of whom share a commitment to safe, decent and affordable housing for all in America. We are the nation’s oldest housing advocacy organization, dedicated to the affordable housing mission since our founding in 1931. We are a nonpartisan, 501(c)3 nonprofit that brings together our broad-based membership to advocate on housing issues. Learn more at nhc.org.
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