Health and Housing

Over the past several decades, an increasingly large body of scientific evidence has established the link between housing conditions and inhabitants’ health. Deteriorating structures, building materials that off-gas, moisture and mold, poor maintenance and sanitation can all impact the environment of a home and the health of its inhabitants.

Hazards in the home environment cause or exacerbate a number of illnesses and injuries. For example, dust, chronic dampness, mold, secondhand smoke (SHS) and pests trigger asthma; radon and SHS cause lung cancer; lead-based paint is still a source of lead poisoning in children; carbon monoxide and chemicals in household products can lead to poisonings; and lack of safety railing and smoke alarms can result in preventable injuries.

The underlying causes of these home health hazards often overlap, as do the interventions that correct those causes. Here we provide you with some of the scientific evidence and disease burden statistics that have established the link between housing conditions and inhabitants’ health.

General Resources: Links between Housing and Health

Housing Interventions and Health Outcomes: A Review of the Evidence by the National Center for Healthy Housing and the US CDC, 2009.

Where We Live Matters for Our Health: The Links Between Housing and Health The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Commission to Build a Healthier America, 2008.

Advancing Healthy Housing: A Strategy for Action (Executive Summary) (2013)

The Asthma and Housing Connection  A PowerPoint presentation produced by ARC that outlines the impact housing can have on asthma.