Climate Change, Weather, Housing Precarity, and Homelessness: A Systematic Review of Reviews

This systematic review of reviews was conducted to examine housing precarity and homelessness in relation to climate change and weather extremes internationally. In a thematic analysis of 15 reviews (5 systematic and 10 non-systematic), the following themes emerged: risk factors for homelessness/housing precarity, temperature extremes, health concerns, structural factors, natural disasters, and housing. First, an increased risk of homelessness has been found for people who are vulnerably housed and populations in lower socio-economic positions due to energy insecurity and climate change-induced natural hazards. Second, homeless/vulnerably-housed populations are disproportionately exposed to climatic events (temperature extremes and natural disasters). Third, the physical and mental health of homeless/vulnerably-housed populations is projected to be impacted by weather extremes and climate change. Fourth, while green infrastructure may have positive effects for homeless/vulnerably-housed populations, housing remains a major concern in urban environments. Finally, structural changes must be implemented. Recommendations for addressing the impact of climate change on homelessness and housing precarity were generated, including interventions focusing on homelessness/housing precarity and reducing the effects of weather extremes, improved housing and urban planning, and further research on homelessness/housing precarity and climate change. To further enhance the impact of these initiatives, we suggest employing the Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA).

Publication Date: 
Journal Name: 
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health