Housing and Health
Lower-income families who are persistently exposed to poor living conditions have higher odds of suffering from serious illnesses. Poor living conditions are usually rooted in poverty. They can include structural problems, pest infestations, mold, and toxins in the home, overcrowding, and noise, as well as pollution and crime in the surrounding area. New research has also revealed a complex relationship between homeownership and our health, with homeowners reporting better health than renters, and those in foreclosure reporting the lowest health status. Homelessness is also a growing problem that can seriously impact the health of individuals and families.
Source: Santa Clara County Public Health. "Santa Clara County Public Health. Health and Social Equity in Santa Clara County.” 2011. (accessed February 5, 2014).
Good health depends on having homes that are safe and free from physical hazards. When adequate housing protects individuals and families from harmful exposures and provides them with a sense of privacy, security, stability and control, it can make important contributions to health. In contrast, poor quality and inadequate housing contributes to health problems such as infectious and chronic diseases, injuries and poor childhood development.
Source: Robert Wood Johnson, Commission to Build a Healthier America “Housing and Health, Issue Brief #7, Exploring the Social Determinants of Health”, April 2011. (accessed July 1, 2015).
Center for Health Statistics
Minnesota Department of Health
Golden Rule Building, 3rd Floor
85 East Seventh Place
PO Box 64882
St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A. 55164-0882