Housing and Health: Examining The Links

There is an extensive body of academic, policy-related and community based literature that describes the powerful nature of housing as a social determinant of population health. The relationship that exists between poor housing (or a lack of housing) and poor mental and physical health is well-documented. From structural to social issues, there are a myriad of concerns that surface including (but not limited to): density of housing; internal conditions (such as dampness, heat, and air conditions); the presence of contaminants, vermin, or pests; special needs, supports, and resources critical for the sustainability of housing for vulnerable populations. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of effective interventions for housing and homelessness that are linked to positive health outcomes in vulnerable populations in order to facilitate the design and implementation of health-supportive housing policies and to offer recommendations on directions forward in research and practice.

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