Housing affordability and health equity
Stable, affordable and safe housing is critical for good health. Limited high-quality housing stock forces many Ohioans into housing situations that expose them to long-term negative health outcomes. For example:
- High housing costs and poor housing quality (e.g., overcrowded or dilapidated housing) contribute to toxic and persistent stress, which can lead to high blood pressure and other negative health outcomes.
- Greater access to affordable housing reduces the number of Ohioans spending significant portions of their income on rent, increasing their ability to pay for other necessities, such as food and health care.
- Safe and affordable housing can improve birth outcomes and reduce infant mortality disparities through reduced toxic stress, an increased ability to afford health care and other improved health factors.
Quality, affordable housing is vital for Ohio families to maintain stable employment and long-term health. Low wages, a lack of safe and affordable housing and the impacts of racism and housing discrimination result in many Ohioans spending a significant portion of their income on poor quality housing in neighborhoods that are disconnected from necessary resources, including high quality health care and high paying jobs.
How can state policymakers support housing equity?
To promote equity and support the health of all Ohioans, Ohio policymakers can strengthen affordable housing access in all communities by fully implementing evidence-based recommendations in existing state plans:
- COVID-19 Ohio Minority Health Strike Force Blueprint — Ohio Governor’s Office
- A New Approach to Reduce Infant Mortality and Achieve Equity: Policy Recommendations to Improve Housing — Ohio Legislative Service Commission
- Healthy Moms and Babies: Housing and Health Integration: Research Findings and Recommendations for Policymakers — CelebrateOne
- 2020-2022 State Health Improvement Plan — Ohio Department of Health
- 2020-2022 Strategic Action Plan on Aging— Ohio Department of Aging
- Healthy Beginnings at Home process evaluation— HPIO and CelebrateOne