Affordable housing impacts health

A Lawrence Habitat home

A Lawrence Habitat home by Lindsey Slater

In the past few weeks, I've written about the impact that affordable housing has on both economic development and education. The third and final piece of the Center for Housing Policy's research on affordable housing is its impact on health.

The connection between affordable housing and health isn't new. Researchers broadly acknowledge that making an effort to prevent children's exposure to lead paint in homes has reduced lead poisoning and health problems associated with it.

Based on the Center for Housing Policy's latest glance at academic literature -- a few hypotheses came to the forefront regarding affordable housing and health.

Instead of breaking all of them down, it's more interesting to me to simply look at the list of the possible ways affordable housing might positively impact health. If you're so inclined, you can read the full report here.

Affordable housing may impact health by:

  • freeing up funds for healthy food and health care costs
  • reducing stress and related adverse health outcomes
  • impacting mental health by increasing control over one's physical environment
  • reducing health problems caused by poor quality housing
  • reducing stress, increasing access to amenities (like walking trails) and generating health benefits (like those from walking)
  • alleviating crowing and exposure to stressors and infections diseases
  • using green building strategies to reduce pollutants, energy costs and increasing home comfort

I think a lot of these make plenty of sense. Lawrence Habitat uses home visits to potential partner families to gauge current living situations. And the need for affordable housing is definitely out there.

What do you think about the list? Do you think affordable housing can impact that entire list? What else could show up on that list?

Tagged: Lawrence, health, homeowners, Habitat for Humanity, poverty housing, housing, affordable housing

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