Healthy Communities of Opportunity Include Housing

Healthy Communities Key to Addressing America’s Housing Challenges

A new report – Healthy Communities of Opportunity: An Equity Blueprint to Address America’s Housing Challenges – explores the intersectionality of housing and health related factors that contribute to the economic, social, and over-all well-being of families and communities, and underscores the importance of looking at policies through this integrated lens.

This report from Policy Link and the Kresge Foundation examines:

  • the newly released Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule;
  • the rise of active tenants’ rights networks;
  • the growing attention to sustainability and resilience; and
  • new philanthropic and community development investment pools.

Together these provide a strong platform for integrated planning across housing, transportation, education, and economic sectors. The report includes a historical context of housing policies and their impact on housing and healthy communities, identifies best practices through current initiative highlights, and promotes policy recommendations that enhance equity in health and housing.

The report lays out a number of “key equity housing policy priorities that can address racial equity, health, climate and economic opportunity incomes including:

“Launch national and state campaigns to reduce the housing-cost burdens of 14.5 million low- and extremely low-income households experiencing homelessness or paying over 30 percent of their income on housing.”

The report concludes:

“The links between health and housing inequities are unmistakable, and the challenges faced by vulnerable communities struggling to a afford housing in opportunity-rich communities undermine our public health and collective prosperity. Prioritizing low-income communities and communities of color to receive new housing investments as a platform for expanding opportunity and improving health outcomes will secure our nation’s prosperous future.

Despite challenging circumstances, there is much to build on. Millions of Americans have new access to health coverage. The ACA has unleashed new homelessness prevention strategies tied to healthy housing. Advocates achieved a pivotal victory when the Supreme Court recently preserved the use of disparate impact to challenge exclusionary housing policies.

From the newly released Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule; the rise of robust tenants’ rights networks; the growing attention to sustainability and resilience; to new philanthropic and community development investment pools—together these provide a strong platform for integrated planning across housing, transportation, education, and economic sectors.”

Healthy Communities of Opportunity: An Equity Blueprint to Address America’s Housing

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