Housing and Health

High housing costs impact the health of families.  Families tend to shift their spending away from paying for health insurance and healthcare in order to cover other basic necessities. Lack of safe and sanitary shelter, homelessness, and housing insecurity are associated with poor mental and physical health. Homeless children are more vulnerable to developmental delays, depression, and mental-health problems. Families with high portions of household income spent on rent or mortgages are often unable to afford nutritious food, which is critical for both children's physical and mental development.

While access to housing that is affordable can free up funds for other necessities and improve the health of individuals and families, an emerging field of research is examining how affordable homes can also impact government social-services spending. A recent study in Oregon found that after people moved into affordable housing, costs to healthcare systems decreased along with an increase in care quality and access. 

View HCD's Housing and Health policy brief. (PDF) (2013)

Learn more about housing and health in California's Housing Future: Challenges and Opportunities.

Smoke-Free Housing

In 2012, California enacted a law (Senate Bill 332, 2011) clarifying that landlords have the right to make their rental properties smoke free. Following are a number of resources available on smoke-free housing.