The link between housing and health is far reaching and complex. Historically, the housing-health nexus has been primarily associated with physical exposures and dilapidated housing; however, recent studies suggest that adverse health outcomes are also linked to housing rental assistance status, housing insecurity, a lack of affordable housing, and neighborhood quality. Substandard, unaffordable housing and stalled community development represent important public health challenges facing millions of American families and disentangling the complex relationships between housing and health is crucial for policymakers. Below are HUD-sponsored initiatives and resources focused on the link between health equity and housing.
NCHS-HUD Data Linkage
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, in collaboration with the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) released a NCHS-HUD linked data product. The data are based on the linkage of the 1999-2016 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and 1999-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) with HUD Administrative records through 2016 for HUD’s largest housing assistance programs: Multifamily, Public Housing, and Housing Choice Vouchers. These files enable researchers to examine relationships between housing, health risk behaviors, and health. Please visit the NCHS-HUD data linkage website to find useful information about the linked data files.
Compendium of Federal Datasets Addressing Health Disparities
This resource identifies the relationship between socioeconomic factors, social determinants of health, and health equity. It includes a description of over 250 databases from federal agencies (including HUD). This initiative aims to facilitate research planning and to encourage intersectorial collaboration across federal agencies to better address health disparities. To learn more about the compendium please use visit: https://www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=1&lvlid=4
Picture of Housing and Health
These studies use HUD administrative records linked with the National Health Interview Survey to examine the health status of HUD-assisted children and adults.
- A Health Picture of HUD-Assisted Adults, 2006-2012
- A Health Picture of HUD-Assisted Children, 2006-2012
HUD’s Healthy Homes Program
Environmental hazards in the home harm millions of children each year. In 1999, in response to a Congressional Directive over concerns about child environmental health, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) launched its Healthy Homes Initiative (HHI) to protect children and their families from housing-related health and safety hazards. The Healthy Homes Program addresses multiple childhood diseases and injuries in the home. The Initiative takes a comprehensive approach to these activities by focusing on housing-related hazards in a coordinated fashion, rather than addressing a single hazard at a time.
Quick Links – Health and Housing
- Cityscape - The Housing-Health Connection
- Case Study - Portland, Maine: 409 Cumberland Avenue Apartments Add Affordable Housing and Promote Sustainable Food and Healthy Living
- Evidence Matters - Housing and Health (Winter 2016)
- Article in Health Affairs - Health In All Policies: The Role Of The US Department Of Housing And Urban Development And Present And Future Challenges
- Health Policy Brief - Housing And Health: An Overview Of The Literature
- Policy Brief - Healthy Communities of Opportunity: An Equity Blueprint to Address America’s Housing Challenges