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Housing and health

Carter Work Project 2012: Tuesday’s theme

Photo by Dominique Rattner

A safe and secure home provides more than just shelter from nature’s harshest elements. 

As highlighted in the 2011 Shelter Report, “Housing and Health: Partners against poverty,” it is also a bulwark against disease, not only for the family who dwells within it, but also for the community in which they live. 

Leaky roofs, mold and mildew in homes still lead to asthma and preventable respiratory conditions in the United States and Europe. Inadequate housing contributes to typhoid and dysentery in Tajikistan. The lack of secured housing threatens a generation of African children whose parents and family members have succumbed to HIV/AIDS.

As improved housing reduces the risk of disease, the reverse is also true: Substandard housing, coupled with poor public health access, tainted water supplies and inadequate sanitation, puts whole communities at risk. 

This is why Habitat’s efforts in Haiti are critical and why much more can be done to improve the lives of 1.6 billion people living in inadequate housing.