This Health Affairs policy brief outlines health and housing literature and provides high-level direction for future research and policy agendas, as there is strong evidence characterizing housing’s relationship to health. Housing stability, quality, safety, and affordability all affect health outcomes, as do physical and social characteristics of neighborhoods.
Housing is one of the best-researched social determinants of health, and selected housing interventions for low-income people have been found to improve health outcomes and decrease health care costs. As a result, many health care systems, payers, and government entities are seeking to better understand the totality of the health and housing literature to determine where they might intervene effectively.
This brief reviews four pathways (e.g., stability, safety and quality, affordability, and neighborhood), including examples of both observational studies of housing deficits and interventional studies of possible solutions.