Housing and Health
High housing costs impact the health of families. Families tend to shift their spending away from paying for health insurance and healthcare in order to cover other basic necessities. Lack of safe and sanitary shelter, homelessness, and housing insecurity are associated with poor mental and physical health. Homeless children are more vulnerable to developmental delays, depression, and mental-health problems. Families with high portions of household income spent on rent or mortgages are often unable to afford nutritious food, which is critical for both children's physical and mental development.
While access to housing that is affordable can free up funds for other necessities and improve the health of individuals and families, an emerging field of research is examining how affordable homes can also impact government social-services spending. A recent study in Oregon found that after people moved into affordable housing, costs to healthcare systems decreased along with an increase in care quality and access.
View HCD's Housing and Health policy brief. (PDF) (2013)
Learn more about housing and health in California's Housing Future: Challenges and Opportunities.
In 2012, California enacted a law (Senate Bill 332, 2011) clarifying that landlords have the right to make their rental properties smoke free. Following are a number of resources available on smoke-free housing.
- Understanding California’s New Smokefree Housing Law (PDF) — Provides an overview of Senate Bill 332, California's smoke-free housing law, effective since January 1, 2012.
- There Is No Constitutional Right to Smoke (PDF) (April 2015)
- How Landlords Can Prohibit Smoking in Rental Housing (PDF) (June 2011)
- Creating Smokefree Policies for Affordable Housing in California (PDF) (June 2011) — Explains how to engage key players to limit smoking in affordable developments.
- Becoming a Policy Wonk on Nonsmoking Housing Units Ordinances: Answers to Tough Questions from Opponents and Elected Officials (PDF) (November 2011)
- Matrix of Local Smokefree Housing Policies (PDF) (November 2011)
- Smokefree Multi-Unit Housing — The Center for Tobacco Policy & Organizing
- Tobacco Control — ChangeLab Solutions