Context of Housing and Impact on Health

Articles about how neighbourhood contributes to health. Neighbourhoods located away from flood prone areas, with well kept housing, social networks and access to public transportation, parks and green spaces, grocery stores and employment are associated with better health outcomes than ones with vacant lots, run down buildings and incompatible land uses (eg. incinerators, waste management facilites). Includes strategies to reduce income segregation in residential districts.

Find Sick Communities And Try To Fix Them? Wha? Surely Better To Flail And Forget Them?

No, 'Flail' isn't misspelled. Admittedly 'Fail' might do the job, too. But we had in mind a post we wrote three years ago that described a New York City...

San Jose, CA Scrambles To Escape Self-Inflicted Water Damage

One of the most powerful images expressed by a newpaper cartoon came in the 1950's from Pogo, a socially aware cartoon opossum. He reported on impending warfare with a...

Older Adults Leaving Big Cities To Escape High House Prices

Here are two reports that have significance for seniors living in England. The first report, prepared by Independent Age, analysed data about where seniors are living. The data is from...

Offering Health Care That Is Safe For People Who Are Homeless

About 1980, this writer attended a presentation by a physician from El Salvador. He talked about practising medicine in a civil war. He spoke about his patient who needed...

Scottish Commissioner: Housing Children In Hotels Violates Their Rights

Scotland has a Children and Young People’s Commissioner. The position existed prior to 2014 but could only reach out to protect groups of children. After 2014, the Commissioner could address...

Food: Everybody Needs It For Survival. How About For Community Interaction Among Seniors?

There are no definitive answers yet from a new Bournemouth University project in association with the UK's United St Saviour’s Charity. The LEMONADE Project intends to ". . . provide multigenerational...

Potable Water: A Pillar In The Right To Adequate Housing, Also Essential To Life

This is the final post in a series that looks at housing and homelessness in South Africa and Canada. It might be a source of inspiration/direction for housing efforts...

Doing More To Welcome People With Disabilities

When you hear the word disability in the context of housing, what comes to mind? ramps wide doorways roll in showers a place of your own an extra...

Getting Around The Sticky Problem Of Having An Address To Access Services

Have you ever stopped to think about how much having an address affects your life? How would you go about accessing water for drinking and bathing without an address?...

Best Foot Forward: Public/Social Housing In The 15-Minute City

The concept of a '15-minute city' is having a long moment of world-wide appreciation If you haven't yet focused upon 15-minute cities, here's an easy-reading description of how walking...

Housing And Health – The Problem Of Investigating A Cause-Effect Relationship

Do housing conditions cause health conditions? In individual cases, the answer has proven (after many meetings with coroners) to be yes. There is Awaab Ishak, who died from exposure...

Tomorrow’s Chest Pains Might Lead You To Nearby Public Housing

At affordablehousingaction.org, our posts are replete with the 'yes-no-maybe' issues surrounding existing social/public housing as it exists today. As well as being admittedly much-maligned, it offers potential benefits for...

Surprising Shopping Patterns In A ‘Food Desert’

The absence of food stores in urban regions gives rise to the idea of 'Food Deserts.' They are considered to be a particular problem for public/social housing residents who...

Integrating Local Health and Housing Planning – Who Benefits?

Slowly but surely governments are coming to grips with the idea that housing affects people's health. This should be good news, especially for the people who pay excessive amounts...

You Know, I Think They Might Live On Our Floor . . .

When this writer moved to Toronto, he rented an apartment in a building with 150 units because he knew one person who lived there. When he moved out two...

Seeking A Cooperative Route To Ending Food Apartheid In New York City

Poorer citizens in New York City have suffered a form of whiplash with the election of their new Mayor, Eric Adams. Adams is both Black (hopeful hoorays) and a former...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

COVID-19 Adds To The Impact Of Historic Discrimination

America's widest circulation newspaper, USA Today, has used its resources to find out who is being hit hardest by COVID-19 in the US. Picking six areas where there was...

Yonkers, NY, Traces Yesterday’s Past Black Discrimination That Now Kills Today

Recent protests in the US have focused on current discrimination against Blacks, as well its deep roots in American culture and society since Emancipation. The unrest has triggered calls...

Updated – Indigenous And Homeless? 12 Reasons Why Affordable Housing Alone Is Not Enough

Jesse Thistle describes the evolution of the Indigenous definition of homelessness and shares some of his own experience in this video conversation with Jayne Malenfant and Stephen Gaetz. Jayne...

Health Care Organizations Up Their Game In The Housing Business

Here's a resource for people who want to extend the impact of health care services. It's a booklet that outlines best practices that have combined goals of providing housing...

Connecting The Housing And Health Dots

Health researchers Diana Hernandez and Carolyn Swope from Columbia University have recently published two important articles that connect housing with health. We have much more access to information about health...

A Toronto Hospital Signs On For Affordable Housing

The University Health Network in Toronto recently announced that it will donate a vaccant parcel of land for development as a site for affordable housing.The site is currently a...

Indigenous Housing Providers: A Source Of Strength For Affordable Housing

The Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA) has just released a report about non-profit affordable housing that is provided and operated by indigenous organizations. The housing is spread across...

Affordable Shipping Container Housing: Comfy Microhomes Or Homeless Prison Cells?

Quirky Architectural Think-Toy For an affordable housing solution? Or barely habitable concentration camp cage for homeless children? It would seem that shipping container housing can be both. Just as a pile...

Housing And Health: The Backbone Of Strong Communities

The NHP Foundation, an affordable housing provider in the US, is challenging others to reboot and accept homeless people as tenants. NHP argues that with appropriate supports and partnerships,...

What Makes A Healthy Community? Art? Affordable Housing? Both? Careful Thought From Durham, NC

Let's begin in the most intimate and familiar corner of your community: your own home. "In this new era of Artificial Intelligence, modern families will soon realize that a robotic Personal Assistant is...

City Councils as Social Housing Developers: Yesterday’s Socialist Evil, Or Tomorrow’s Hope For Affordable Housing?

DIY. Do It Yourself! Wise advice to a UK Borough Council that badly needs affordable housing? The London Borough of Hackney not only thinks so, it is taking aggressive...

Inclusionary Zoning: What Is It? Why Do It? Who’s Doing It?

Researchers in the United States are investigating inclusionary zoning as a regulatory tool to improve health outcomes. Their findings are reported in the journal Health Affairs. Land uses are regulated...

Take Two Aspirin And An Affordable Home, Then Call Me In The Morning

Only 10% of people’s health needs are delivered at a medical facility. The recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation: Beyond Health Care: The Role of Social Determinants in Promoting...

Aboriginal And Homeless? 12 Reasons Why Affordable Housing Alone Is Not Enough.

A Canadian definition of homelessness neither mirrored nor explained the aboriginal experiences of Jesse Thistle. He decided that a definition that reflected the aboriginal experience was an essential foundation...
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