Though the pandemic has focused attention on how housing influences health outcomes, it’s not a new phenomenon, he added, and COVID-19 is not the only impetus to improve housing access for vulnerable populations. “We’re looking at many ways, even beyond COVID, of how we’re addressing the health needs of people who live in HUD-assisted housing.”
There’s real evidence behind the notion that housing and ending homelessness can drastically improve public health, Richard Cho added. “It has been proven through multiple studies that the provision of housing is often the thing that makes the biggest impact on people’s health outcomes.” Beyond homeless populations, there are many other groups for whom housing assistance can be a powerful tool to improve health, such as for children and pregnant women.
Understanding the connection between housing and health is critical to solving the homelessness crisis and improving health outcomes for everyone, said Rosanne Haggerty, president and CEO of Community Solutions, a nonprofit organization that’s working to eliminate homelessness.