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Publications in this section highlight the many ways in which affordable housing can help advance other important community objectives, such as good health, educational achievement, individual asset building, and economic development. The Center’s work in this area seeks both to clarify and document the benefits of affordable housing and to suggest ways to structure affordable housing to better achieve these broader goals.
Housing is well understood to be an important social determinant of physical and mental health and well-being. In the context of ongoing national and state efforts to reform health care, it is important for policymakers to understand the various pathways through which housing affects health. As an update to earlier reviews on the relationship between housing and health, the authors examined recent research on the various ways in which the production, rehabilitation, or other provision of affordable housing may affect health outcomes for children, adults, and older adults.1 This report is organized around ten hypotheses on the contribution of affordable housing to supporting positive health outcomes.
The National Center for Healthy Housing, the Center for Housing Policy, ChangeLab Solutions, and Trust for America’s Health released a new issue brief, “Housing and Health: New Opportunities for Dialogue and Action”, calling for greater collaboration between the public health and housing communities. The paper recommends a more coordinated and integrated approach among housing, environmental health, and public health agencies to help improve the health of children, older adults and other community members.
This case study, one of three prepared by the Center for Housing Policy presented at the National Building Museum's How Housing Matters Conference, describes a program that uses secure and affordable housing to improve health outcomes and health care access for older adults.
The direct effects of poor quality or unsafe housing on health are well established; researchers have also increasingly turned significant attention to the role of housing affordability in fostering stability and reducing stress. In her brief, The Impacts of Affordable Housing on Health: A Research Summary, Cohen details the results of research on the pathways through which affordable housing can affect the health of residents, especially children.
This brief summarizes three recent reports that test the hypothesis that homeownership directly leads to better educational, health, and behavioral outcomes for children.
Applying rigorous methodologies to isolate the potential effects of homeownership, all three reports conclude that homeownership, per se, does not lead to better outcomes for children. Instead, it appears to be the characteristics of the families that become homeowners and perhaps the stability associated with owning a home that explain the association between homeownership and better outcomes for children.