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.

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Eviction Bans Help The Whole Community To Control COVID Infection

A Federal Court judge has ruled against landlords who fought an eviction ban in Philadelphia. The landlords maintained that the ban was unconstitutional because it conferred a benefit only...

COVID’s Economic Effects Come Home To Roost

Across Canada, we're somewhat envious of the Maritime provinces, which have managed to keep their COVID infection numbers to a minimum. However, COVID's economic effects are definitely being felt...

UK Child’s Play: Post-Pandemic Back-To-Basics When The Basics Aren’t There

The budget fallout from the extraordinary costs of the COVID-19 pandemic are already being felt in the United Kingdom. Restrictions of the pandemic have fallen heavily on everyone, particularly those...

Oopsy, Homeless: Covid Frontline Workers Give The Lie To Meritocracy

Lurking in the depths of conservative thought, the idea of a meritocracy is never far from the surface, at the very least as a convenient excuse for inaction. Merit-based...

Does COVID Spur Unexpected Partnerships?

In the United States, local community development agencies and large health care organizations have been teaming up to improve health outcomes for people living in disadvantaged communities. COVID has...

Canadian Arctic Housing: Cozy On The Outside. Now Have A Look Inside

In the fall of 2020, Mumilaaq Qaqqaq, the Member of Parliament for Canada's far north, visited eight communities. Her purpose: to see the housing conditions of her constituents.For an...

A Missed Opportunity For Hotels To Prevent The Spread Of COVID

Vicky Spratt, writing in i, argues hotels were a missed opportunity to prevent the spread of COVID in England. She draws on research by Rebecca Tunstall at York University...

Pandemic Response By New York School System Pioneers Community Food Outreach

In England this past pandemic year, there was for a time an extraordinary reluctance by the government to extend traditional school meal service during closures. This in spite of...

Royal Commission in Victoria, Australia Calls For Public Supported Housing

A Royal Commission Into the Mental Health System in Victoria, Australia, has just issued its final report. In its two years of activity, the Commissioners received 12,500 submissions. The...

Hotels As Transitional Housing: Pandemic America Explores Its Medium & Long Term Future

Hotels and motels have always been dear to the emergency management heart. While some communities have other opportunities nearby (e.g. underused military barracks, student housing out of term-time), the...

Speaking Up For Public Housing In Connecticut

One third of the households on the waiting list at the Housing Authority of New Haven live outside New Haven's boundaries. The Housing Authority is only allowed to build...

Indoor Homeless Sheltering Pricey? San Francisco Finds Outdoor Shelters No Bargain

What's in a name? Unofficial collection of tents together with a ragtag of people pick up tags such as  "A Crime-Ridden Blight," or a "Danger to the Community." Here's...

Housing Loss: What Governments Can Do Now & The Challenge They Face In The Future

Give. Keep it simple. Keep it coming. Keep your data. These simple rules, together with explanations, lay out how jurisdictions that wish to provide housing security can help their...

Charity Can Stave Off Evictions, Except Where Governments Have Created “Walking Dead”

With the good news of increasing numbers of vaccinated citizens in many countries, there are hints of life possibly returning to normal in the not-too-distant future. This news, however...

Government Transparency Crisis: Getting The Lead Out

Lead is bad for your health. When young children were discovered to have high levels of lead in their blood, health researchers in the U.S. began looking for sources...

Options To Avoid Watching A Loved One Fade Away Behind Glass

Aging Americans without a great deal of money might be curious to know whether Canada's medicare-for-all system helps out those whose futures include nursing home care. Canada's nursing home system is...

Food Insecurity (e.g. Food Deserts) And What To Do About it

It has been estimated that 1.6 million residents in New York City are food insecure. They do not have convenient, reliable access to the nutrition they need for healthy...

COVID An Urgent Call To Arms for “Space Cadets”

Nearly all urban spaces on earth grew like topsy until the modern practice of zoning became common. Zoning then chased pig farms out of the downtown, lead smelters out...

City of Toronto Helps Homeless-Loving Carpenter Follow in Famous Footsteps

In an age where social media allows everyone to preach the gospel of certainty for every possible lifestyle, social behaviour and religious belief under the sun, we wondered how...

When Homes Become Offices And Offices Become Homes: A Fantasy City Future?

In a topsy turvey pandemic world, many commercial office workers have seen their places of employment fragment and scatter backwards along commuter routes, down familiar residential streets, and in...

Health Sector As Housing Advocate?

The health care industry in the United States is adding its voice to those calling for affordable and safe housing. Why this is happening? Health care organizations have been investing...

Is Housing-Proud Singapore A Go-To For Urban Planning After COVID?

With COVID-19 exacerbating housing crises worldwide, it's hard to avoid being awestruck with Singapore's dramatic public housing successes.Try: How Singapore Got Public Housing Right That city-state has planned thoughtfully...

Elderly Need Care? Home Support is Better. Are Private Nursing Homes A Rip-Off?

The harsh realities of COVID-19 have besmirched a number of nations that have followed "small-government" policies to either starve essential social programs to death, or to pass them off...

Hong Kong COVID Crime & Punishment — Life Played Out In A Coffin Home

Homewise, how small is too small? This is a societal issue that must ultimately be faced. We already have one kind purely practical answer: when it comes to basic shelter...

Public Housing Tenants Could Become Fodder To Feed Brave New City CBDs

Everywhere, one of the biggest non-human victims of the pandemic — second only to national health care systems — has been the central business district (CBD), together with transit...

COVID-19: Improving Housing Conditions To Fight COVID Infection

An international group of researchers has pulled together a list of the actions that have been taken to help protect people from being infected by COVID-19. All of the...

Truly Affordable Housing Infrastructure: A Tale Of Two Internets

Infrastructure? Two Internets? This post is premised on the idea that the events of the current pandemic have decisively demonstrated the internet as basic infrastructure for housing, as defined in...

UK COVID Homeless Miscount. A Convenient Funding Dodge?

During the fall of 2019, people across England hit the streets to count the number of people who were homeless. The results were announced in November: 4,266 people. At...

Updated – Private Hospitals Invest In The Health Benefits Of Housing

Hospitals in the United States were partners in housing developments before the pandemic. As we reported in a post in 2017, Dignity Health in Sacramento, California found that investing...

UK Footballer Takes On Child Starvation: Could Affordable Housing Be Next?

The United Kingdom is providing its citizens with an object lesson about the power of populist advocacy compared to traditional party politics much practiced in fudging any crisis towards...

Green New Deal For Housing Part 5: Indigenous Approaches

This is the final post covering the Tyee's five part series about a green new deal for housing. The Tyee is based in Vancouver, where high prices are making...

Sunnydale Locals Flatten A Public Housing COVID-19 Outbreak

Contact tracing systems to reduce COVID-19 spread have led to frustration and mixed results world-wide. One public housing project in the United States, however, can be proud of their...

Hospitals As Developers – Angels Or Something Else?

Why would anybody be afraid of a lifesaving institution such as a large hospital that shares their very own neighbourhood? One possible answer is tied to affordable housing. In America,...

Electronic Canadian Eviction Adjudication A Sausage Factory For Homelessness

Canadians have a reputation of being bland and cautious, but you can be sure that we look for reasons to counter with smugness. Unfortunately, on the lookout to recast...

The Shift: Committing To Housing As Shelter For All, Not Investment Opportunity

Leilani Farha may no longer be the UN's Special Rapporteur on Housing,To check out the Special Rapporteur's mandate, see the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights: Special...

Updated – Domestic Abuse: Can/Should Social Landlords Handle It Better?

In the early days of COVID-19 we described temporary measures in Scotland to assist people experiencing domestic violence. Two groups led the design and the implementation of the temporary...

Is There Room In Your Country For “Ella’s Law?”

In the United Kingdom, a court finds that a child's death has been caused by air pollution. In Nunavut, easternmost of Canada's arctic territories, dangerous public housing is on its...

Minimum Wage . . . Living Wage. Will Ever The Twain Meet?

"Minimum wage" is a common name governments use in their quest for wage "fairness." It is the lowest wage legally permissible to pay a regular employee.Some categories of employment...

Updated – From Tents Without Rents To Sheds With Beds: “No Thanks” Either Way, Say Neighbours

Just over two years ago, we reported on tiny home communities that were being built in Seattle and other cities across the United States. Today, we're checking in again,...

The Consequences Of Stepping Off The Road To Health Equity

Sir Michael Marmot doesn't mince words. As head of the Institute of Health Equity, he is critical of the United Kingdom government's COVID 19 response. His objections are based...

How To Cut Financially Struggling People Off At The Knees: Let Me Count The Ways.

There is a significant range of views about social assistance, which provides emergency financial support. For some, the assistance is considered to act as a deterrent to getting a...

When The Little Engine That Could . . . Couldn’t. Public Housing in Singapore

Viewed by outsiders, Singapore has been remarkably successful in harnessing a social housing engine to pull its citizens to become world #1 in home ownership. Success has come about...

Multiple USA Crises: Could A New Public Housing Dawn Fix Them?

In the midst of a pandemic, Joe Biden has stepped to the plate. Could one powerful swing towards public housing renewal knock a series of national problems out of...

A Health Emergency On Top Of A Housing Emergency

Cynthia Puddu, who teaches at MacEwen University in Edmonton, Alberta, is calling for short and long term changes to housing and homelessness programs across North America. Before COVID-19, housing for...

Staying Permanently Housed in The UK: A Homeless Do-It-Yourself Version

The globally respected and successful Housing First program to help end homelessness could only be partially implemented in the UK's hurried Everybody In initiative over a period of two...

Poverty May Mean Hardship. Beyond Poverty, Destitution Is Life-Threatening

Poverty comes in many shades, from careful spending, through struggles to stretch limited income, serious belt-tightening and deeper into financial desperation. All the way to destitution. Destitution has been defined as...

Howling Wolves Outside? Sticks Or Bricks Housing Defines How You Cope.

Everybody knows that the older little piggies get, the more small-c conservative they become. Older piggies drift away from a youthful idealism and the need for change towards the...

Connecting Housing And Health – COVID Helps Provide Links

Chelsea, Massachusetts is a neighbour to Boston. Its level of COVID infections is 918/10,000, the highest in the state. Like other communities with high infection rates, Chelsea residents are...

Are Your Country’s Rents Ever-Increasing? Berlin Stops That Dead

Free market democracies offer little natural protection to their citizens when it comes to the "inalienable right" of gamblers to speculate for profit in life's essentials, such as food...

Breaking The Link Between Incarceration And Homelessness In Australia

Toward the end of the 20th century, when people experiencing homelessness became more visible, the programs to help them leave the streets quickly became overwhelmed. People asked, "where did...

“A [COVID] Factor That Came Late To Public Attention: Ventilation.”

Ventilation came late to COVID 19 public attention? Really? Not in this writer's Canadian household, where stories out of East Asia early last spring described in diagrammatic detail how...

Aussie Feds Drop Social Housing Ball. Has Victoria, AU Picked It Up?

If noise in the press is any indication of public concern, then Australia's press over the last six months has resonated with cries from all quarters for the construction...

Canadian First Nation Seeks Sovereignty Through Housing

Indigenous people who are resident in modern nations may value their often unasked for (and sometimes unwanted) citizenship. But many, if not most, harbour a strong sense of maintaining...

Customer Sometimes Right? Social Housing Landlords Might Need To Check

In the United Kingdom, the Grenfell Tower disasterSee: “Nobody Listened to Us!” Grenfell Tower Fire Survivors Demand A Legal Voice For All Social Housing Tenants and its aftermath shows...

Greet Once-Employed, Now Homeless Hoards: No Salary, Not Even Tips

Good Value = Popular = Crowding = Exuberant Conversation = Infected Spittle-Spatter blown away in a patio wind, but sucked into deadly circulation when trapped indoors. The future of...

U.S. Evictions Tsunami? Still Looming As Some Hope To Cancel Rents

The U.S., like many countries staggering under the impact of COVID-19, is facing a hopefully-temporary crisis of individual and family poverty. One consequence has been an inability of a...

Step Back From Bad And Ugly Of Public Housing To Celebrate The Good

The demonization of public housing residents in America has been a price paid by "small government" beliefs that the public purse has no role to play in either the...

Tenants Call For Green Kitchens In NYCHA Buildings

Tenants living in housing owned by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) have come up with a great idea to get the ball rolling on a Green New...

Birmingham Private Housing Authorities Abandon Special Needs Tenants

The U.K. government has over the past few years created loopholes for housing developers normally restricted by numerous by-laws. This extra freedom was created in order to encourage the...

Reasons To Be Wary Of Home Ownership

Yes, there are people who wonder whether home ownership is all it's cracked up to be. This intriguing point of view diverges substantially from the idea that everyone should...

Tough Times For Landlords: The Shoe Remains Stuck On The Other Foot

In Ontario, Canada, a landlord can't even book a hearing for a juicy above-guideline rent increase, such is the demanding backlog facing the Landlord Tenant Board as it begins...

Enhanced Mental Health For Seniors In Public Housing

Patrick Raue is using his research to help seniors to stay connected. It is proving helpful to tenants living in public housing. At any time, it's important to keep connections...

COVID-19 & The Full Granular Horror of Public Private Housing Partnerships

Years of public housing destruction in the U.S. have been justified by a faith-based principle: that private enterprise can spend public money more efficiently and effectively than governments to...

Transforming Canada’s 10 Year Housing Plan

Indigenous people in Canada are over-represented in the population of people experiencing homelessness. A lack of adequate housing contributes to this situation. The Indigenous Housing Caucus of the Canadian...

Internet Connections Broaden The Definition of Housing Infrastructure

New housing salesperson to prospective buyer, "Wait a minute! Now you say you want electricity brought right into your home! That will be special order, and cost extra." Not a...

Rough Sleepers Just The Tip of Australia’s Homelessness Problem

A recent report for the Australian Homeless Monitor attempts to find a prescription for future action by making sense of Australia's homelessness problem as it has evolved over the...
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