Housing and Health

Housing and neighborhood conditions are inextricably linked to health and well-being.

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Our Homes are Key to Our Health

Millions of families in America struggle to keep a roof over their heads, and it's taking a toll on their health. How can we ensure everyone has an affordable place to call home?    

Improving the health of people and communities starts with ensuring access to safe, secure, and affordable homes.  

This collection features initiatives supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and resources for communities working toward healthier, more equitable housing.

Far too many people in the United States—especially Black, Latino, and Indigenous people—have long faced insurmountable housing inequities that have limited their opportunities for health. This includes decades of discriminatory housing and lending practices.

These inequities, coupled with rising housing costs and stagnant wages, have left many families unable to pay for other basic expenses, including food and health care. The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the housing disparities in our country, and made it clear that a safe and secure home is critical to achieving good health. This holds true for people across the country—in communities large and small, rural and urban. 

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is working alongside others to build a Culture of Health that provides everyone in America the opportunity to live the healthiest life possible, regardless of where they live, their race or ethnicity, or how much money they earn. Bringing this vision to life will require bold, evidence-based strategies for increasing access to safe, affordable, and stable homes in communities with access to good schools, fair-paying jobs, grocery stores, and green spaces.

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The physical and mental health toll is profound when the cost of housing must take precedence over the cost of healthy food, medicine, heat or fuel.

Read Op-Ed by RWJF President and CEO Richard Besser and CEO of Habitat for Humanity International Jonathan T.M. Reckford

Housing Solutions Lab

The Housing Solutions Lab at the NYU Furman Center helps small and midsize cities plan, launch, and evaluate evidence-based local housing policies that advance racial equity; increase access to opportunity; and improve long-term health and well-being for residents.

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Featured Initiatives

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity’s advocacy campaign, Cost of Home, raises awareness about the urgent need for affordable housing in the United States.

Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF)

A report from SAHF and the Center for Community Investment spells out the role preservation can play in addressing America’s affordable housing crisis.

How Where We Live Affects Our Health

How Where We Live Affects Our Health

How Where We Live Affects Our Health

Housing is more than four walls, it’s the neighborhood, schools, grocery stores, parks and other services where we live, learn, work, play and pray. Yet, many families struggle to afford housing in neighborhoods with access to these vital amenities. Take a deeper dive into how cross-sector partnerships are working to improve the health of all communities.
Housing is more than four walls, it’s the neighborhood, schools, grocery stores, parks and other services where we live, learn, work, play and pray. Yet, many families struggle to afford housing in neighborhoods with access to these vital amenities. Take a deeper dive into how cross-sector partnerships are working to improve the health of all communities.

How Where We Live Affects Our Health

Housing is more than four walls, it’s the neighborhood, schools, grocery stores, parks and other services where we live, learn, work, play and pray. Yet, many families struggle to afford housing in neighborhoods with access to these vital amenities. Take a deeper dive into how cross-sector partnerships are working to improve the health of all communities.

Related Content

Featured Content

Our Homes are Key to Our Health—RWJF President and CEO Richard Besser spotlights how housing is linked to health and equity in America.

How Does Housing Affect Health—This brief discusses promising strategies to improve America's health by providing families with the ability to make healthy housing choices.

 

Learn How We Work Toward

A man and his son celebrate the construction of a new home.
Healthy Communities