At the intersection of housing, health, and economic security lie enormous possibilities to build communities of opportunity across America. Housing and health are inextricably linked. Their complex interplay determines whether neighborhoods, cities, and regions ourish or fall behind, and whether children thrive and families succeed. Weaving together smart housing, health, and economic security policy can create stronger, resilient, inclusive, prosperous communities.
It has long been obvious that a lead-laden home or a house located by a toxic dump impacts health. The implications of a house far from fresh food or a safe place to exercise can also seem apparent. Less understood are other factors. For example, paying more than half of one’s salary for a home, living in crowded conditions to save on rent, the tension and worry of being in and out of homelessness or in high-crime environments all take a toll. So, too, does living in a community isolated from jobs, job-connecting networks, and reliable public transportation. As this report reveals, housing, health, and economic security together shape the opportunity landscape in America, which in turn are shaped by the nation’s structural, economic, and racial barriers.