Health

Exploring the connections between affordable housing and health. Each housing pillar: affordability, stability, quality and neighbourhood, affects health independently. The pillars often occur in combination and the impacts on health increase exponentially. Discrimination and segregation, established historically and maintained through current policy and practice, further exacerbate the impacts on individual health.

Pushing Supportive Housing To Do Better

Supportive housing is supposed to be part of the solution to homelessness, not contributing to it. It's supposed to be the magic space where people who have been homeless...

Community-Integrated Jailing For The Homeless Criminal Class?

Visit 'Ground Zero' in the world's homeless crisis, The City of Los Angeles (LA) in California. It's an encounter that every city with a homelessness problem should consider undertaking...

Some Compulsory Trivia For New(?) ‘Social Housing’ Activists

America has spent the better part of a century digging public housing into an economic hole from which it will, at least in its present form, never emerge. Parsimony...

Goosed By Pandemic: Walkers? Yes, Big Time! Bikers . . . Not So Much

The cost of housing is so high these days that ownership is prohibitive to many, if not most in the next generation. Meanwhile, rental housing costs can drive you...

Homeless On The American Murder Range: Shooter Or Target?

So what's the homeless score in Murderland? How many upstanding citizens have been done to death by homeless people — angry, drug-fueled and/or otherwise crazed? How many hapless homeless people have...

Indigenous Housing – Doing Better

Housing conditions in remote communities has been a personal issue for this writer, ever since working in Canada's north in the 1970's. At the time, the housing built for...

O Canada! The True North Weak And Diseased . . .

The headline above is a line from Canada's national anthem, unfortunately adjusted to circumstances. The impetus for such an outrageous(?) modification comes from a book review in nature. The review...

National Crime Problems? Find Scapegoats. . . Or Up Social Spending?

When it comes to finding scapegoats for rising crime, America is hardly alone in demonizing the poor and vulnerable. Still, it's success over decades in pointing the finger towards...

Free To Be Completely Nuts? California Winds Homelessness Into The Issue

California is re-examining mental health problems 'solved' half a century ago as a way of dealing with some aspects of chronic homelessness. Some chronically homeless people have such severe mental...

Gump Is Dead But Anonymous Donors Aren’t, Thank Heavens!

From abundance fifty years ago, the Christmas Island Forest Skink is now extinct. Gump died. She was the last of her kindTry:Extinction obituary: the sudden, sad disappearance of the...

Better Stories About American Public Housing? Yes, Please!

Best public stories about Cabrini-Green? Of course there can't be any, can there? That grotesque citadel of crime, depravity and lost souls — a Chicago public housing complex better...

Supportive Housing: What Is It? How To Add More That Is Needed

Canada and the United States need more supportive housing, the kind that is affordable for people with very low incomes and provides support to help with activities of daily...

Homelessness Shown To Be A Literal School Of Hard Knocks

At the beginning of the year, we published a post about the surprising prevalence of brain injuries among the homeless, based on research by Tiffany O'Connor at the Hamilton...

Refurbishing Refuseniks: Public Housing Tenant Self-Defence

Those dratted American public housing tenants who won't drink the Kool-Aid! With the Race-To-Replace currently under starter's orders, big bucks and bulldozers poised and ready, who are these selfish...

Breathing Health: Colorblind For All The Wrong Reasons

"You are what you eat" is a well known phrase that ties human well-being to healthy food. The deterioration of America's public housing in particular has added another important...

Government Broken Relocation Promises: Death Warrants?

Nursing homes have no desire to become custodians of tatty old furniture, near and dear to nobody's hearts but the owner's. But far from discouraging such an intake along...

The Wealth Gap Widened During COVID. How To Close It?

Researchers from Australia and the UK have teamed up to review and analyse what happened to the housing market during COVID. They extended their study to include New Zealand,...

California’s Rapid Housing Initiative For Homeless People – How’s It Working Out?

The Terner Center For Housing InnovationThe Terner Center For Housing Innovation is based at the University of California Berkeley. It has a long history of studying housing and homelessness...

NYC: Shelter Available. A Move To Housing? Unending Delay

The 'ahead of its time' horrors of George Orwell's book, 1984, has in some respects taken 40 years and more to catch up to the events predicted in its...

USA Climate Change: Who’s Got Junk? Everybody.

Climate change has brought new risks to America, as it has to every other nation in the world. One kind of risk, as yet little prepared-for, is debris from...

Homelessness: Après Moi, Le Déluge . . . Or Is It ‘Le Gulag?’

Louis XV of France is credited with the flood warning in the title above. Today the saying is interpreted as a giant shrug. "After me comes the flood. But who...

Does A Papal Apology Bode Well For Indigenous Housing In Canada?

On April 1, 2022, Pope Francis apologized for the harms caused to children in the residential school system in Canada. The apology came at the end of a week...

Personal Perspectives On Stable Housing In California

In housing and homelessness circles, California is well known for its high housing costs and its tens of thousands of people who are living 'unsheltered.' California's Project Homekey is an...

Pandemic Evictions In America – Some Good News

It is important to begin by saying that eviction is not a good situation under any circumstances. An eviction during COVID made a bad situation worse. For this reason,...

I Spy With My Video Eye — Social Landlord Dirty Deeds

Turns out, it's not just the police who get caught out by public exposure. That embarrassment is down to half the population having a video capability in their smart...

Envy Homeless Youth Backpacking Adventure? Don’t

They're young, sitting together laughing on the sidewalk. If only you could do the same, toss aside life's burdens for a few moments, be footloose and carefree! Be careful what...

UK ‘Small’ Government As A Deliberate Death Machine

15 years before the 2017 Grenfell Tower Fire, neoliberalism had firmly gripped the imagination of politicians. The message had not necessarily filtered down to UK bureaucrats who laboured on,...

Black ‘Holocaust’? Community Heart? NPH Museum Covers Both

This post celebrates the advent of the U.S. National Public Housing Museum (NPHM). Physically, it is still a bright and glossy figment of the imagination. A visit to the...

Domestic Abuse Victims Must Stay Local: A Death Sentence?

The headline of this post suggests that a victim leaving a domestic abuser, but not that abuser's neighbourhood, could have fatal consequences. That might seem to be an idea...

Denver’s Space-Age Homelessness: Hiding In Plane Sight

Like the opportunistic grass that grows up through the cracks in a concrete sidewalk, the homeless prevail in their daily struggle to survive. That they are bound to do so...

Domestic Abuse? (Exasperated Sigh) Why Not Just Leave?

Here, from four experts in the UK, are answers to the question: "Why Don't Victims of Domestic Abuse Just Leave?" Cassandra Wiener discusses how abusers instill fear and exert control. Michaela Rogers...

Society’s Neglect -> Homeless Deaths. Are Both Increasing?

When one of the world's well known newspapers does an 'exclusive analysis' and concludes deaths among the homeless are surging, it's worth taking note. Studies that link early mortality and...

Shelter Intake Broadens: A New “Lost Generation” Of Homeless?

City Hope St. Louis provides homeless shelter and resources in St. Louis, Missouri. Like many organizations that operate shelters for people who are homeless, their hand-to-mouth income flow requires...

Homeless Lured From Streets By Universal Bad Habits

What can possibly be positive about cigarettes, alcohol and illegal drugs? For starters, though known to be potentially dangerous to human health, they are undeniably effective pit-props that shore...

Is Anyone But Tenants Interested In U.S. Public Housing Fire Safety?

Two fires in public housing in the U.S. have killed 29 and injured more. The largest loss of life occurred in New York's City Bronx boroughRead in the Architectural...

Pricey Climate Broil: Global Crisis With Different Strokes For Different Folks

For the hot, hot, hot citizens of Phoenix, Arizona, climate change is cranking up the weather thermostat. A recent report describes rising local temperatures as "expensive," and outlines some...

Shelters A Long Term Dead End? Charity Abandons Homeless Warehousing, Moves To Homes

It may be hard to view closing an emergency shelter as a step forward for providing services to the homeless in the Kitchener-Waterloo region of Ontario. But the House of...

An Unlikely Ally For A Woman Living With a Violent Partner

If your cousin was being beaten by their partner, where would they go to live? This is a big question and regularly one for which there is no solution....

NYC Trans Legal Victory A Step Forward For All Who Fear Homeless Shelter Violence

New York City, with homelessness mega-problems, is legally required to provide shelter for those homeless within its boundariesSee this article from the Coalition for the Homeless, which is the...

Affordable Housing Action. We Champion It. Does Anybody Do It?

Affordable housing winds of change blow across borders. It's especially true in Canada, with most of its population in a long narrow strip that hugs the U.S. border. And given...

Updated: Crisis Response To Mental Illness And Homelessness Without The Police

Two days ago, affordablehousingaction.org published a post about work by Akwatu Khenti, who teaches and studies at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto....

Crisis Response To Mental Illness And Homelessness Without The Police

Recently, affordablehousingaction.org posted a story about mobile outreach teams, which pair police officers and health professionals. Together they respond to 911 calls where it seems likely that there could...

In Peel, Ontario, COVID Triggers Better Homeless Lives. Can It Continue?

By now, most are aware that the unknown dangers of a COVID pandemic swept many, many people living rough off the streets and into the comparative luxury of hotel...

New Research Rebuts Ideas About Homelessness In England

The number of single mothers becoming homeless in England is growing at an alarming rate, according to Shelter, a charity which supports people who are facing homelessness. Even though the...

Hamilton Ontario: Defunding? No. Re-Thinking, Rearranging The Cost Of Policing

A city such as Hamilton, Ontario, with a population of 560,000, fields an emergency call whose sketchy details suggest it might — just might be — triggered by a...

Phoenix Bike Share: Green And Healthy, Sure. But A Public Service?

Trapped in the public housing heart of a low income community on the wrong side of the tracks? With a little help from the community at large, why not...

Spanish Study Conclusion On Better Health For The Homeless? Buddy Up

Three people who are homeless are sitting on a park bench, content with sharing the little they have — tipsy conversation, laughter and a bottle of cheap wine. One...

Shining A Spotlight On COVID And Girls’ Homelessness

"Despite the profoundly divergent impacts of COVID-19 globally, it appears that diverse policy makers, scholars, and community leaders can agree on one thing — the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated...

Why Parks Are Needed For The Poor, More Than Middle Class Or Rich

"Plant Blindness" — it's an affliction you may well never have heard of. But plants play an important role in human health. Plant blindness prevents us from taking advantage...

Homeless Due To Abuse? “Let Them Eat Fist” Official Non-Response

The social stresses of COVID have been proposed in a number of countries as the reason for recent increases in domestic abuse. Whatever the reasons for the increase, the...

Ho Hum: A Progress Report On Texas Criminalization Of The Homeless

Here's a sour-hearted Texas situation that could change at any moment. Nobody has yet been arrested for camping in that state! When we first heard the news in May...

How Mom’s Homeless Apple Pie Became California’s “Magic Recipe”

OK, we're running the risk of damning with faint praise California's "everyone in"Everyone In" was the name given to the United Kingdom's national directive to provide shelter for people...

The Police Dunnit: A Challenging View On Public Housing Crime

There are a variety of opinions on the causes of crime and violence in America's public housing. For example, the architects dunnit: their design failures with their low-budget, corner-cutting...

WI Family Homeless Crisis: For Some, Gone Today, Here Tomorrow

The COVID-19 pandemic initiated a scramble to protect both communities and residents who were homeless. Some of the actions have been shown to be well-intentioned but wrong-headedTry: Shelter “Option”...

Big City Boston Plague of Tents: Speechified Compassion Backed By Threats

It's hard not wonder about those poor souls locked in the illicit drug trade. If we are to take the City of Boston's word on things, we can imagine the...

London, Ontario Homeless Encampments: Three’s A Crowd

Cities across North America greeted 2021 with a sense that the pandemic was waning. Too bad it wasn't. Assuming that expensive "everybody in" sheltering of the homeless would no longer...

The Public Face Of Abject Poverty: Haligonian NIMBYites Call It In

Haligonian? Noun — a common name for residents of Halifax, Nova Scotia. It's a city like many in North America that has heeded the call of NIMBY (Not In...

New Housing Planned For Vancouver That Aims To Serve Women-Headed Households

The Vancouver chapter of Soroptimist International owns two housing projects. One, a two storey project that was built in 1970, provides 21 units of housing for senior women with...

HUD-The-Suddenly-Helpful: Things That Make Your Blood Boil

Well, to be honest, the blood started to boil several months ago and it's been quietly simmering until this latest eruption. The initial cause was the news that U.S. private...

New Survey Shines Light On Homelessness And Housing Need In Canada

The Women's National Housing & Homelessness Network has just released a new study that documents how housing and homelessness affects women, girls and gender diverse populations in Canada. This...

Prepare For the Silver Tsunami, Coming Soon, Now Arrived

In those sleepy days before the dire threat of a COVID pandemic sharpened everybody's attention, the "silver tusnami" was a coming distraction more than a call to action. Did...

Do Those Visibly Homeless Crazies Know Better Than Most Of Us?

Visible homelessness is undeniably on the increase. Failing truly practical solutions, municipalities and regions are engaging in futile pop-up plow-down pop-up plow-down harassment of homeless tenters, excusing the necessity...

Urgently Needed: A Safe Space To Treat Women Who Use Substances And Are Homeless

A charity in Dublin, Ireland has issued a call for a separate space to offer services to women who experience homelessness in that country. The organization, Merchants Quay Ireland...

Does Criminal Loathing Lurk Beneath Compassion For The Homeless?

Demonstrable compassion for people who are experiencing homelessness and trapped outdoors has in North America lasted only about a year, if that, in many cities and regions. As it...

Existing Data Illuminates Indigenous Experiences Of Homelessness

Indigenous people make up 0.5% of the Canadian population, yet are a much higher proportion of the people who experience homelessness in Canada. New research uses available public data...

The “Plus Ça Change” Dilemma When Dealing With Homelessness

“We just moved 18 people off the side of the road . . . I don’t think we moved anybody into something that’s better.” This recent statement was made by...

Free Market Housing Assistance For Ex-Prisoners Is A Waste Of Money

Free Market Housing Assistance? Known by a variety of terms around the world (e.g. housing allowance, rent supplement, housing choice, Section 8 vouchers) that bridge the gap between an...

Adequate Housing For Indigenous People In Canada – A Way Forward

One of the responsibilities of Canada's National Housing Council is keeping Canada moving along in its commitment to the human right to adequate housing. The Council has made the...

Scientists Champion Measures To Improve Indoor Air Quality

Thirty-nine scientists contributed to an article about indoor air quality in the May 2021 issue of Science. Their major concern is that indoor air quality is largely unregulated and...

Want To Lower Crime Rates? Fix Up Housing

The City of Philadelphia began providing funding for low income homeowners to make basic system repairs to their housing in 1995. Now, research from the University of Pennsylvania demonstrates...

Waiting For A Canadian Indigenous Housing Strategy . . . And Waiting

Compared with their numbers in the community, Indigenous people are consistently over-represented in the point-in-time counts that help monitor progress on ending homelessness. The lack of adequate housing is...

Own A Set Of Metric Drill Bits? No? Hang Your Head, Social Housers

At the turn of the 20th century, what sane middle or lower class person would want to own a house? It was a time before Mr. Fixit-ness, before battery...

Social Housing: You Are Where You Park, So Make That Park Yours

Energy efficiency is not the only important green future for us all. We should also look to health benefits of biophillia. Biophillia is a fancy word to describe the positive...

The Green Challenge For Social Housing Apartments (And Others)

What do you think of the changes that will need to happen to your apartment by 2030, whether social housing or free market housing? If you are roughly 79,999th on...

Domestic Violence Costs Australia: Social Housing Can Help

Equity Economics, a research consultancy that supports the non-profit sector in Australia, has just issued a report that recommends adding 16,800 units to the country's social housing stock. The...

To Be, Or Not To Be Housed. A Soliloquy On Eviction And Death

What makes a human being healthy, with a long life expectancy? There are as many answers as there are proponents of important influences. Modern medicine (including vaccination) has the...

Sacramento Flirts With Notion Of “Mandated” Housing For Homeless

The film Field of Dreams featured a famous prediction: "If you build it, they will come," referring to an unlikely baseball stadium in a rural American cornfield. The Mayor of...

200 Car Headlights Shining In Your Bedroom Window: Blessing? Or Curse?

Surveillance is a touchy subject in neighbourhoods where a majority of citizens have good reason to believe they are the victims of prejudice. On the other hand, home security is...

County Level Data Available To Help U.S. Decision Makers

Data geeks have something really special to celebrate in the link attached to this post. Researchers at the Urban Institute in the U.S. have gathered, organized and published a massive...

Mapping A Route To End Domestic Violence In Canada

When you're tackling something as complex as domestic and gender-based violence, it's helpful to have a roadmap. Women's Shelters Canada and others have just completed a Roadmap for the...

Violence and Home

The stay at home orders, which were a key strategy to managing COVID 19, drew widespread attention to the violence that occurs at home. This post discusses who is...

Kansas City Flops A Flap — Urgent Clearing of A Homeless Tent “City”

Is there an important lesson for all to be learned from precipitously "evicting" a homeless encampment? For Kansas City Council, together with its citizenry, it might be: slightly more...

Domestic Violence? Got To Leave NOW! How About A Sleeper Bus?

Library Buses, Street Outreach Buses, Food Bank Buses, Disaster Displacement Recovery Buses: mobile social services has a long and distinguished career of providing low budget, temporary relief for human...

Perping Toms: How Architects Play Peekaboo With Criminals

Sep-ted? That's how it's pronounced. That's the best we can do with CPTED — Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. Is CPTED some clever new way of viewing crime-vulnerable neighbourhoods? Hardly....

ITV In UK Catches Too Many Social Housers With Their Pants Down

When it comes to enduring poverty in disgusting, dangerous, unhealthy conditions, grovelling apologies to sufferers don't quite cut it. But at the moment in England, that's what's being served...

Homekey Struggles to Overcome Homelessness AND Public Perception

As California's Homekey program is well aware, fighting homelessness is a three-pronged battle. Like an iceberg, the bulk of homelessness lies beneath the surface, invisible to the public. Addressing homelessness...

Los Angeles Tent Encampments Showcase Reasons Why Slums Were Replaced

Los Angles Fire Department has recently reported an annual tally of fires and deaths in that city's plague of tent encampments. It should come as no surprise when we...

More Aging NZ Homeowners Looking Towards Public Housing. Why?

One in three New Zealand councils are looking to pry elusive rent subsidies dollars from the federal government in order to build social housing. The demand for social (or...

Cost Benefit To Permanent Supportive Housing? U.S. Research Weighs In

Here are two studies from the U.S. that discuss the merits of permanent supported housing for people who have prolonged experience of homelessnessBoth reports came to our attention via...

Applications Rise For Social Housing By Families Fleeing Violence In Toronto

Victoria Gibson, who reports on affordable housing for the Toronto Star, has been watching the numbers of applications for social housing during 2020. The number of new households that...

Strengthening Community: Centring On Communication

This is part of a series about community. Growing and sustaining a community brings benefits to the participants, provides a means of personal development and builds hope and resilience....

Toronto Community Housing Workers Bargain For “Them,” Not Just “Us”

Well, we took out hats off to honour striking Chicago teachers who went to the bargaining wall demanding better conditions, including truly affordable housing, for students and their familiesKudos...

Using Data And Partnerships To Add Housing And Improve Health

From the United States comes an announcement about using data to drive health care planning at a local level. The data holder, UnitedHealthcare, will work with housing authorities and...

Is It Possible? Middle Class Envy of Public Housing Quality? Yes

Affordablehousingaction.org operates out of an older mid-rise Toronto apartment building with large rooms and views over a park and lake. For all their desirable features, the apartments are wrapped...

At Sea In A Pandemic, Poorer Oakland Students Thrown A Rescue Line

Not all that long ago, a school teacher could assign research projects to students based only upon books and resources available in the school library. Those days vanished in...

Are High Housing Prices Contributing To COVID?

The burden of COVID-19 illness has fallen particularly hard on people with very low incomes and on visible minorities. Now, research from Toronto suggests that spiralling housing costs could...

“Lived Experience” Vital To Solutions To Homelessness. Just Ask.

The COVID-19 pandemic provides some unexpected examples of the importance of "lived experience" to the practical knowledge that legislators need to craft focused, practical, compassionate rules and legislation to...

Built For Zero In London, Ontario Meets Temporary COVID Housing

London, Ontario is one of the first communities to join Built For Zero Canada, a campaign that aims to end chronic and veteran homelessness. Built For Zero follows a prescribed set...

Khaleel Seivwright Has Hit The Big Time! Who? You Need To Know.

At affordablehousingaction.org we were quite taken with Toronto's Khaleel Seivwright when he hammered his way onto the local homelessness scene. So much so in fact that some might consider...

US Veteran Finances Can Lead To Homelessness. More Than Just A “Duuh” Story?

Our first thought was that linking financial woes to homelessness was a celebration of the obvious. The second thought, however, was that a large number of non-veterans in different...
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