Housing and Health: Intersections

Your home and neighborhood can affect your health in many ways. Current research in Public Health shows that your zip code is a better predictor of your health than your genetic code.

It is known that access to safe, affordable housing plays a critical role in bolstering the health and well-being of individuals and communities. According to the World Health Organization's Commission on the Social Determinants of Health, housing is considered a primary determinant as it has been proven to affect all aspects of an individual's development.


 The Social Determinants of Health are all of the conditions surrounding a person that have been shown to significantly impact health outcomes.

Substandard housing conditions and aging housing stock are known to be hazardous and complicate many chronic health conditions. Unhealthy homes can contain lead, asthma triggers such as mold, poor air quality, unsafe water, or structural deterioration that can cause injury. The Rhode Island Alliance for Healthy Homes (RIAHH) is working locally to bring awareness about unhealthy housing throughout the state. As a partner of HousingWorks RI, we work with RIAHH to track unhealthy housing and conduct research to highlight the importance of addressing these issues in Rhode Island.

"Securing affordable housing for vulnerable families with children, older adults and formerly homeless individuals is indeed the platform for increasing access to primary and preventative care. It is also a critical and necessary long-term investment."

- Dr. Megan Sandel, MD, MPH 

In order to understand how Rhode Island's unique housing challenges impact the health and well-being of our residents, HousingWorks RI conducts research on the intersection of housing and health to inform policy and investment. Ongoing research tracks housing implications in healthcare policy, healthcare transformation, long-term care and the health impact of access to affordable housing.

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HousingWorks RI is a proud partner of RI Alliance for Healthy Homes