Individual well-being reflects the broader community system where someone lives, including their housing quality and placement. Stable, safe, disaster-resilient housing in diverse, vibrant communities fosters full, productive lives for individuals and families. Further, it’s important that affordable places to live provide access to food, transit, economic opportunity, and other resources needed for healthy living. High-quality housing — free of health hazards like lead, mold, and radon and in good repair — supports the physical, mental, and economic health of communities and individuals.
Access to humane housing can determine who thrives and who struggles to survive. Housing is often passed down through generations, and people may struggle to access housing otherwise. Homeownership helps build family wealth and stable, diverse communities.
Housing developed and reinforced with climate change and energy efficiency in mind supports housing stability and builds resilience. Humane housing initiatives must respond appropriately to social, historical, and spatial contexts; develop or enhance housing programs based on equity principles; and invest in strategies that address structural racism and remove barriers to homeownership. Creating opportunities to discuss housing status and quality through many system interactions — like health screenings, benefits program applications, and employment settings — can help proactively identify and address housing needs.
Humane Housing includes:
- Affordable costs
- Nearby necessities
- Safe structures
- Adequate space per person
- Diverse neighborhoods
- In 2019, about 20 million renters paid more than 30 percent of their income on housing.
- Less than 1 percent of housing is both affordable and accessible to people with disabilities.
- While just over 1 in 10 people in the United States are Black, 4 in 10 people experiencing homelessness are Black.