Housing and Health: Unlocking Opportunity

Housing and Health: Unlocking Opportunity

Affordable, good quality, and stable housing is a key prerequisite for promoting health and preventing illness. It is also a key determinant for building healthy and inclusive communities. The current Toronto housing context, which is increasingly unaffordable and has a limited supply of affordable housing, is resulting in inequities in access to housing that is affordable, good quality, and stable, which has significant implications for health and health equity in Toronto. Research and lived experience in Toronto demonstrates that housing unaffordability, poor quality housing and neighbourhoods, and housing instability, including homelessness, are associated with a range of poor mental and physical health outcomes, risk factors for poor health, health care non-adherence and follow-up, and significant costs to the health care system.

The Housing and Health report is intended to increase awareness about the importance of affordable, good quality, and stable housing for health and support efforts currently underway to address this issue. The report outlines the Toronto housing context, populations at risk, and the evidence on the key dimensions of housing that are important for health and health equity: affordability, quality, and stability. It also features stories from Torontonians with lived experience, which provide compelling accounts of the relationship between homelessness, housing instability and health. The staff report contains recommendations that have the potential to improve health and reduce health inequities that focus on the upstream determinants of homelessness and housing instability, including populations at risk such as people with mental health and/or substance use issues.

ORGANIZATION: Toronto Public Health
PUBLICATION DATE: 2016
LOCATION: Toronto, Ontario, Canada